NATURE’S MUSICIANS – Join a cricket/katydid specialist to study the insect orchestra.
Now that the stage is set along the Glacier Trail and down to Lake Kelso at Burton Wetlands, join cricket/katydid specialist Lisa Rainsong to learn about the musicians of the insect orchestra on Saturday, August 17th from 7:30 to 9 pm. at the Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve, 15681 Old Rider Road, Burton/Newbury Townships
Insects “sing” by rubbing their wings together – they have a built-in “file and scraper,” the friction of which produces the sound – and each species has a unique song, which may be used to locate and identify the percussionists.
Naturalist Linda Gilbert said Sworn-bearing Coneheads, Curve-tailed Bush Katydid, Black-legged Meadow Katydids and Black-horned Tree Crickets will hopefully be tuned up and ready to be discovered by August 17. You can visit Geauga Park District’s YouTube channel, http://youtube.com/geaugaparkdistrict1, to view a close-up video of a Sworn-bearing Conehead in full song, recently recorded by Naturalist Linda herself!
Registration is not required for this program; just bring a flashlight to help spot the musicians. Call 440-286-9516 with questions.
TAKE IN THE PERSEIDS – Observatory Park to be open all night for annual meteor shower.
Make it a tradition and spend the night with us enjoying the Perseids Meteor Shower on Sunday, August 11, to Monday, August 12 – 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. at the Observatory Park
Best viewing should be from 1 to 3 a.m., so get comfortable, bring a reclining lawn chair and some blankets, and lie back to enjoy the show at one of the country’s eight, and Ohio’s only, International Dark Sky Parks.
There will be no formal program, but a naturalist and other astronomers will be on hand to answer any questions and point out other interesting objects in the summer sky.
“For instance, the moon on August 11 will be a waxing crescent moon, with 22 percent of the moon’s visible disc illuminated, and will set at 10:39 p.m. or just about two hours after sunset,” said Astronomy Naturalist (Astro-Nat) Wayne Kriynovich. “The best part of the meteor shower will be well after midnight, with the most shooting stars just before dawn. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed for clear skies.”
Don’t forget to dress warmly; also bring bug spray and maybe something warm to drink like coffee or hot chocolate. And if you are interested in keeping dark places like this dark, or preserving our dark skies in general, also mark your calendar (or set your DVR) for the following day, August 12, to watch The City Dark on PBS at 10 p.m.
Observatory Park is wheelchair/stroller accessible. Call 440-286-9516 with questions.
BAT SPECTACLE – memorable experience may not be available in the future
As white-nose syndrome threatens to decimate area bat populations, Geauga Park District is offering a special opportunity to watch hundreds of Little Brown Bats’ “flight into the night” on property it protects behind South Newbury Union Chapel. The Bat Spectacle: Flight into the Night will take place on Sunday, August 18 – 8 to 9 p.m. at South Newbury Union Chapel
The bats’ coordinating effort will spring from a bat condo roosting structure built a decade ago as an Eagle Scout project, which is capable of housing hundreds of bats at once.
As dusk proceeds, the bats begin leaving the condo for an evening of food foraging, using echo-location to catch flying insects such as moths, beetles and flies, said Senior Naturalist Dan Best, who will host the visit.
“Bat flight is more efficient than bird flight due to bats having more bones and joints in their wings, with an elastic wing membrane that stretches with the many points of joint movement,” Best said. “As the exit peaks, bats can be seen by the dozens leaving the structure.”
White-nose syndrome is a cold-tolerant fungus that has spread to caves and rock shelters throughout the eastern half of the U.S., killing hibernating bats by the millions since 2006. Marked reductions have already been observed in Geauga County summer bat populations, with the syndrome found in local rock shelters where bats usually hibernate.
“At the present mortality rates, this Union Chapel bat spectacle may very soon become a phenomenon of the past,” Best said. “Don’t miss this opportunity.”
Registration is required by phone at 440-279-0880, as parking is very limited; registration is therefore by number of vehicles, not people, so carpooling with family and friends is encouraged.