Thursday, June 4, 2009

June at Burgeson Wildlife Sanctuary

I returned to Burgeson Sanctuary yesterday with my friend Ness and did a bit of June botanizing. This place is really impressive. Wide, easily walked trails took us through a variety of habitats and we were able to see wildflowers in bloom ranging from the common daisy to the pink lady-slipper. In addition to the flowers, we were delighted to see numerous pairs of eyes popping up through the duckweed on the ponds--green and bull frogs singing to the evening breeze.

I had the pleasure of meeting Gib Burgeson, for whom the sanctuary is named, many years ago at the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage (which was one of his numerous projects). A distinguished botanizer, he loved sharing his own love of nature with others. His efforts at education and land conservation live on after his passing in 1997 on his 100th birthday.

There is an arboretum on the sanctuary dedicated to Ted Grisez, whom I met on Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania trips.
From the Jamestown Audubon Society's website:

"The Arboretum was started in 1980 by a group of dedicated Audubon volunteers headed by retired forester Ted Grisez. Over the years, trees have been added to the collection so that it now contains over 60 trees. Most of the species can be found in either Chautauqua or Warren counties or both."

So without further ado, I present some June wildflowers of Burgeson Wildlife Sanctuary.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Western Pennsylvania Solo Canoe Rendezvous Update

It's almost time for the Second Annual Western Pennsylvania Solo Canoe Rendezvous (WPASCR) on June 12-14, 2009, at Cooper’s Lake Campground near Slippery Rock/McConnell’s Mill.

The WPASCR event is for solo canoeists & the solo canoe curious public. Buy or sell boats or equipment, test paddle new and used solo canoes & talk to other solo paddlers.

Gear exchange, pick up trips, informal programs, demonstrations and more! The schedule is now available, see below. I'll be leading a trip on French Creek on Friday the 12th. Special thanks to the Portersville/Prospect Rotary Club for sponsoring this event. Please support the Rotary by registering for and attending their buffet dinner!

For updates as further arrangements are finalized, check the website at:

Friday, June 12

Test Paddling & General B.S. ongoing all day

10:00 Paddle French Creek Meet at Bicentennial Park in Meadville See details under Trips on the Message Board Lee Ann Reiners trip coordinator

Noon - ? Dead Fish Polo – ongoing depending on interest, at designated area, check in at Wind & Water Boatworks tent

2:00 Ladies Only Clinic – with Becky Sheeler on the lake

3:00 “4 Elements of Seaworthiness” David Yost – in the lakeside pavilion, bring a chair

5 – 7 Open Paddling – no formal events, time for dinner

7 – 9 Jim Perrett, guitar virtuoso, voted one of the ten best blues guitarists by a national blues radio channel, plays acoustic gypsy jazz and more under the lakeside pavilion

Saturday, June 13

Test Paddling & General B.S. ongoing all day

Dead Fish Polo – 0ngoing, see notes on Friday

10:00 Ladies Only Solo Primer with Kim Gass, meet at the Instruction area beach

11:00 Paddle making demonstration – Marc Ornstein at Dog Paddle tent

1:00 Freestyle Exhibition – Marc Ornstein and/or friends on the lake at the Instruction area beach

3:00 “Efficient Paddling, Body, Blade & Boat” – Charlie Wilson at the Instruction area beach

4:30 “Modern Canoe Construction” – Dave Curtis in the lakeside pavilion

5:30 Beer Tasting (North Country Brewery supplying their award-winning beer) begins at the Big Barn directly behind the campground store

6:00 Catered dinner at the Big Barn directly behind the campground store: Chicken buffet, $15 for adults and $7.50 for children under 12; alternative for vegetarians--$8--vegan, gluten-free chili PLEASE register by June 8th cut-off date.

7:00 -? Beer Tasting Continues in Big Barn

7:00 – 9:00 Rick Bruening, singer/songwriter of contemporary folk music, plays and sings in the barn behind the campground store, following the dinner and during the beer tasting

Sunday, June 14

Test Paddling & General B.S. ongoing until whenever

Gear Swap in the pavilion tent by the lake starting at 9 -?

Noon -? Dead Fish Polo – ongoing depending on interest, at designated area, check in at Wind & Water tent

Other events may spontaneously erupt, listen for bullhorn announcements