Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ICYMI:Philly Fast Fest and River Days at Heinz NWR

It has been a while since I have been to one of my favorite DELCO spots. This past Saturday the community pulled out all the stops.

You could meet a red tailed hawk up close and personal. Isn't she a beauty? How can you tell she is a she? Females are bigger than the males.

Red tailed? Yup. Another interesting fact I learned from the Philadelphia Zoo representatives, they flex and fluff out their feathers when they spot something unfamiliar, suspecting a predator they make themselves look bigger than life.

Snakes although intriguing are not creatures I prefer to see up close and personal but I love the fall camouflage colors this snake is sporting. I am going out on a limb here in saying, this reptile is attractive....at a distance. The markings look like artwork. Something, I heard the zoo representative mention, it is unusual to find one of those big thick snakes out in the wild in this area. Comforting? Does size matter when it comes to snakes?

Can you identify these animal pelts? It was one of the activities children were invited to participate in to have their passport stamped. Rabbit, beaver, fox and deer.

This peregrine falcon caught my eye, as you can see, we actually locked in with eye to eye contact. I loved the fancy pajama pants design on this feathered creature's legs. Check out the talons, I would venture to say they were ready to lock in on anything threatening or perhaps edible.

This would also be my first Harris Hawk sighting and a very special treat. There are only 7 licensed hawk owners in the state of Pennsylvania and Heinz was lucky enough to have him onsite for the festival. On a quiz, I would have gotten this one wrong. I thought it was a falcon.

Fishing was also a popular activity and an additional place for kids to get a stamp. For many it appeared to be the first time they cast a line in a most enthusiastic way. I was almost hooked. 🎣 Luckily all the adults were mindful and attentive to the novice.

Philadelphia Trolley Works provided transportation and a tour of the refuge which may not be accessible or an easy hike for everyone. I have taken such a tour in the past and it provides a good background into how this very special place in Delaware County came into existence. The bird, butterfly and plant walks are great too. They were available for the festival but are also offered seasonally throughout the year. Check the FOHR (Friends of Heinz Refuge) website and Facebook page for updated information.

As the band sang in the background, rollin on the river, participants lined up to board a kayak and feel the flow of the Darby Creek. L.L. Bean.com/adventure seemed to provide all the gear.

 There were so many more activities going on inside and out with booths set up to view and obtain additional information. There were also traces of the ongoing work that goes on behind the scenes to make this such a treat to visit and its free. Since I have last visited I have noticed many improvements.

I like what they have done with the place, it's au naturale and those autumn colors are just starting to pop. Even on a regular day at Heinz National Wildlife Refuge you can find a treasure trove of sights, sounds, and smells to ignite the senses. Always a pleasant surprise.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Upcoming Events Week of Oct. 16

Oct. 16 HOW THE LINE BETWEEN PENNSYLVANIA AND DELAWARE CAME TO BE by Brian Cannon, Lead Interpreter, New Castle Court House Museum, New Castle, DE. Delaware and Pennsylvania are the only two states who share a curved boundary. MIDDLETOWN MONDAYS 2017 Middletown Township Historical Society Lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. at Lima Estates, 411 North Middletown Road, Media, PA 19063
Free and open to the public, no registration required.

Oct. 16 Paul Perry Pennsylvania 7th Congressional District candidate will hold a town meeting 6 p.m. at VFW Post 3460, 11 Hilltop Road. Incumbent Rep. Pat Meehan has also been invited to attend.
Oct. 16 John McCain will be awarded the Liberty Medal 7 p.m. at the National Constitution Center.

Oct. 17 History After Hours at the Museum of the American Revolution 5:00 pm-8:00 p.m. extended hours, special programs and activities, and Happy Hour specials in our Cross Keys Café. Tickets.  

Oct. 18 Delaware County Department of Emergency Services and Delaware County Intermediate  Unit Family Center will present  workshop, Have a Kit, a Plan and Be Informed 5:30 - 7 p.m.at the J. Crozer Library 620 Engle Street, Chester. Free event but registration is required, Register by Oct. 16 by calling 610.532.281.
Buy Tickets by Oct. 18 for Oct. 28 Norwood Historical Society is sponsoring a field trip to the new Museum of the American Revolution the bus leaves at 9:45 sharp be at the Norwood Lower Park no later than 9:30 a.m. bus returns 2:30 p.m. Contact Judy Williams 610.461.6621 for tickets. Recommended for adults and children over 10. The cost is $35 includes transportation and admission to museum. Tickets should be purchased by Oct. 18.
Oct. 18 The 2017 - 2018 Read the Revolution Speaker Series featuring Jane Kamensky A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley at the Museum of the American Revolution 6:30 p.m. Individual Programs: $15, Members: $5.

Oct. 18 "Hog Island, World's Largest Shipyard" lecture by Bill Moller of Tinicum Township Hitorical Society 6:30 p.m. at Tinicum Memorial Public Library, 620 Seneca St in Essington.

Oct. 18 Vietnam Veterans Forum at Neuman University "Remembering Vietnam" panel discussion at 6 - 8 p.m. Bachmann Main Building, Room 133. Here is a link to a brochure pdf. on other cultural events at Neuman for the community.

Oct. 18 Art Talk at the Helen Kate Furness Library with Fred Dixon discussing "Rockwell and Wyeth: The Great American Storytellers." 7 pm. Register to attend at the front desk or call 610.566.9331.

Oct. 18 Veterans Information Night 7 p.m. at VFW #928, 1805 MacDade Blvd. in Folsom. 

Oct. 18 The Newtown Square Historical Society monthly program on Wednesday, at 7:00 p.m. AT THE CARRIAGE BARN AT LISETER –  hear Doug Humes give the Society’s slideshow on the History of Newtown Square. (verify)

Friday, October 13, 2017

More Weekend Plans Oct. 14, 15 and 16

It is National Wildlife Refuge Week and out of the 566 in the country we have one of the best in my humble opinion, John Heinz NWR. a link to all NWR events this week.

Oct. 14 Philly Fall Nature Fest at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Oct. 14 Tinicum Community Day at Governor Printz Park 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Oct. 14 Family Fall Fest 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Riddle Hospital Health Center 4.

Oct. 14 Home and Headquarters: War Comes to Worcester at the Peter Wentz Farm 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. How did the Wentz family hosted George Washington in 1777?

Oct. 14 Bethel Founders Day on the grounds of Bethel Hose No. 1 3737 Foulk Road 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Oct. 14 Old Chester Day at the former Third Presbyterian Church  1 - 4 p.m.

Oct. 14 Youth Monument to the Future with King Britt and Joshua Mays 5–8 p.m., Malcolm X Park. Created in collaboration with students from Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Art Education program, DJ King Britt and artist Joshua Mays have created a one-night-only music and visual performance that serves as a youth monument to the future. Join us for music, collected sound samples, and student-designed banners and artwork, entitled Dreams, Diaspora, and Destiny. FREE.

Oct. 14 "Come Together" a Beatlemania event at the Phoenix at Reliance Firehouse, 1661 Mill Road benefits the Upper Chichester Library. Door open 6 p.m.  
Oct. 15 AIDS Walk Philly 31st Annual AIDS Walk/Run Philly 5K. The funds raised from donations, sponsorships, and participation will remain in the region, which has a new infections rate three times greater than the national average. Funds raised at AIDS Walk Philly help those most vulnerable as AIDS Fund works toward zero stigma, zero new infections, and zero deaths. Produced by AIDS Fund, both the Walk and Run will be held on scenic Martin Luther King Drive. The course will begin at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Run will commence at 7:30 am and the Walk will follow at 9 am. Philadelphians can support their neighbors and loved ones by participating in the AIDS Walk/Run Philly 5K, which will bring together over 10,000 people to raise public awareness and funds for those living with HIV/AIDS in our community. Register online and get additional information at www.aidswalkphilly.org or call 215-731-WALK. AIDS Fund provides emergency financial assistance to people living with HIV disease in the Greater Philadelphia region, while providing education and increasing public awareness of HIV/AIDS issues.

in partnership with  
The Museum of the American Revolution and City Tavern

The Museum of the American Revolution will commemorate the 240th anniversary of the British occupation of Philadelphia with a weekend of public programming and costumed living history interpretation on October 14th-15th, 2017. The museum, PhilaLandmarks's Powel House and City Tavern will offer special tours, talks and activities exploring life in the city during the nine months in 1777-1778 when British forces controlled the Revolutionary capital. Visitors will meet soldiers, civilians and spies as they learn the untold stories about the American Revolution's darkest days. 

The Powel House will be open to the public on October 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. with special programming featuring Samuel and Elizabeth Powel between 10am and noon. And the grounds, of course, will be occupied by British soldiers all weekend just as it was back in 1778!

Oct. 15 Sports Columnist for the Daily News, Frank Fitzpatrick will speak at Ridley Township Library 1:15 p.m.

Oct. 15 Hug a Vet ! Thank a Vet ! Welcome Vietnam Veterans from their "Tour of Honor" in Washington, D. C. at The Porch at the Lamb Tavern located at 865 W. Springfield Road in Springfield 6:15 p.m. Arrival Time.


Oct. 16 HOW THE LINE BETWEEN PENNSYLVANIA AND DELAWARE CAME TO BE by Brian Cannon, Lead Interpreter, New Castle Court House Museum, New Castle, DE. Delaware and Pennsylvania are the only two states who share a curved boundary. MIDDLETOWN MONDAYS 2017 Middletown Township Historical Society Lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. at Lima Estates, 411 North Middletown Road, Media, PA 19063
Free and open to the public, no registration required.
Oct. 16 John McCain will be awarded the Liberty Medal 7 p.m. at the National Constitution Center.

Oct. 16 Paul Perry Pennsylvania 7th Congressional District candidate will hold a town meeting 6 p.m. at VFW Post 3460, 11 Hilltop Road.

Oct. 25 Fifth Annual Champions of Adult Literacy Fundraiser to benefit Delaware County Literacy Council at Harrah's Racetrack and Casino 6 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Plans for the October 13 weekend

Oct. 13 Friday the 13th, carry a lucky charm.
Oct. 13 Open Investigating Evening at Ft. Mifflin 7 p.m.

Oct. 13 - 15 Taste! Philadelphia at the Valley Forge Casino.

Oct. 13 Saturday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 28
Lantern Ghost Tours 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. (Newtown Square, PA)  The Colonial Plantation, one of the most haunted properties in Delaware County, invites you to an evening of strange sounds, squeaky doors, and ghostly stories. Relive 300 years of the area’s most mysterious, scary and true tales of terror.  Start by following the torch lit path and discover the strange and inexplicable ways that colonists treated their dead.  Tour the wagon barn and farmhouse to hear a story in each room that will tell of bizarre events from times long past.  Indulge in the mysterious arts of colonial divination.  For the first time ever for the public, the Plantation’s farmhouse basement will provide the backdrop for one particularly horrific story.   To find the Plantation, please use GPS address 3900 North Sandy Flash Drive, Newtown Square, PA 19073.  Attendees should plan to bring a flashlight and expect loud sounds and sudden scares.  This is a walking tour; please contact us ahead of time if there are mobility concerns, and wear sturdy shoes.  Event is rain or shine, and tickets will only be available through pre-registration.  No tickets will be sold at the door.  

Oct. 14 Town Talk Flea Market at Governor Printz Park in Tinicum  8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Oct. 14 Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia "Explore the Circuit" event at the newly opened Chester Creek Trail. 1 - 4 p.m.

Oct. 14 Learn about the History of Motown from Jon Turk at Marple Pubic Library 2599 Sproul Road, a lecture and a performance 2 p.m. a one hour program. Pre-registration is required, call or visit the library.

Oct. 14 Fall Foraging: A Nature and History Walk at Newlin Grist Mill Members $5 Non-members $7. Pre-registration required. Call 610.459.2359.
Oct. 14 Rose Valley Stewardship 9 a.m. to noon. Nature enthusiasts are invited to meet at Long Point Wildlife Sanctuary off E. Knowlton Road along Long Point Lane. Volunteers will restore degraded biodiversity by removing invasive vegetation and replacing it with native plants.

Oct. 14 The Great Horned Owl with Pam Dimelar at Penn State Master Gardeners of Delaware County, 20 Paper Mill Road, Smedley Park, Springfield. 10 a.m. to noon.

Oct. 14 Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union Springfield Branch Shredding Event at Stoney Brook Shopping Center East 375 Baltimore Pike in Springfield. 9 - 11:30 a.m. or until truck is full.Will not shred X-Rays, binders or cardboard boxes, 4 BOX LIMIT per individual, paper clips and staples on documents are ok.

Oct. 14 Coaches vs Cancer 5K Joe King and Dave Remshard Memorial at Governor Printz Park in Essington. Registration begins at 9:30  a.m.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Life whose responsibility is it?

Yesterday morning while out for a morning walk, my husband and I saw three deer across the field and it is always a delight to spot a deer out of the ordinary, although it was a park. I had my phone so I took a few pictures as we got closer to the area they were in. They were not running away, they were hanging out but also looking at us.

 What started out as an awesome way to start the day quickly changed. While I was taking the pictures my husband noticed one of the deer were caught. I didn't have my glasses on so I did not see that at first.

Between those poles are netting, you are looking at a field that is used for soccer. I do not know who owns or maintains he soccer fields but I do know Nether Providence Township soccer kids play here and I have also in previous years seen the Philadelphia Union practice here.

It is my understanding that Chester owns the fields and rents the space to the township and maybe still the Union.  This is all just background information that doesn't matter too much with what happened today.

This buck was struggling and caught in the net. I wasn't sure what to do so I called 911. An officer from Nether Providence arrived and my husband had to scoot off to work. I remained.

The situation deteriorated even more quickly now. The officer and I walked closer and the buck was ferociously fighting to free himself and get away. The other buck stood by diligently and looked to us. The officer clapped and whistle at the other buck and he did wander deeper back into the woods. As we got closer, we found another distressing sight between the third set of pole another smaller deer was stuck and he was not moving.

I wanted the officer to just walk up there and cut the net and free the deer. Luckily the officer was smarter than I am and approached in a more logical and cautious way.  The buck was still thrashing around and it was not safe to approach this very upset animal. I wasn't doing too good on the emotional end either.

The officer, and I wish I got his name and could give him credit, then called either animal control or the game warden and then asked dispatch or someone for a guy named Andy's number I think it was.

The deer either was exhausted or had injured his neck from all the jostling about he had done trying to free himself. He seemed to have settled down and was not moving around as much, if at all. The officer approached and cut some of the net from the pole furthest away from the animal, maybe that would loosen up the stress and tension on the animal. The deer did not move but the officer said he was still breathing, he could see the mist coming out of his nostrils. I could see his eyes were still open but his tongue was hanging out which everyone later said was not a good sign.

Eventually another officer arrived and a township truck and employee that had a long pole with a blade on it to cut the net at a distance. This would prevent injury to anyone possibly endangered by the sharp and damaging spikes on the bucks antlers, if he chose to do anymore thrashing.

The blade was not cutting, I remembered we had a pole saw that would cut it. I ran/walked five blocks and by the time I returned the three men, two police officers and the township employee had cut the net somehow and the buck was just resting, they said. I did what I could have done and I left. I forgot, I also dragged my neighbor Bill into it. As I was running through my backyard with this pole saw on the way back to the soccer field, I asked him to give me a ride it would be quicker. My car was in the shop for inspection. Bill also gave me a ride home. I didn't need to see that story on Action News or horrors Facebook, "Woman running through neighborhood with long pole and a sharp blade on it."

I don't know if that buck made it and in my heart of hearts I hope he did. Something made us spot those deer this morning and discover the buck in distress. I hope it had meaning. This time a child will not show up at soccer practice and find a dead deer maybe two on the field where they play.

There are a lot more deer out this time of year, there are also a lot more people.  What we fail to remember is, we share the land. Most wild animals, bring us joy when we spot 'em, I have photographed many of them. We also do not want to get too close, they are wild animals. We don't know what they will do, so we shoot them for sport and necessity. I don't have solutions for sharing the land but I have an idea that would perhaps have prevented this sad incident.

Please share this sad story with the Soccer Moms and Dads, coaches and players, maybe they have an even better solution to prevent this from happening again. 

My idea is to take down that back tall netting. Have a parent or two stand back there and retrieve the out of bounds balls. Those deer never had a chance in seeing that net late at night or early in the morning at dusk and the open netting was there just waiting to ensnare something. Can you spot it in the photograph?

I am sure the person that designed it and came up with the brilliant idea that our soccer field needs this, had no idea of the consequences. If someone doesn't mention it doesn't work for all walks of life, it won't be changed. We can not shield our children from all the dangers in life but I think we can chase after soccer balls. The smaller deer that was definitely deceased was a baby, entangled in the net. I do not know if the older deer was there to rescue the little one and fell victim to the same fate or the two were just happily froicking through the field and got trapped.

Can those tall nets be raised and lower to the ground when not in use during a game or after practice? Who would have ever suspected this to be a problem. Not me, until I witnessed it for myself. It was horrible to watch and hopefully something that can be prevented in the future.