June 25, 2016 |
Tucked between sleek urban office buildings and the historic red brick of Center City is now a taste of wildlife. On Wednesday, a team of high school students with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service planted flowers in a plot they have been working on since March. The area, several feet of dirt between a stone wall and benches just outside the Free Quaker Meeting House at Fifth and Arch Streets, was once just fallen leaves and soil riddled with English ivy. Now, this strip of Independence National Historical Park is blooming with bee balm, a stringy red petal flower that hummingbirds like to poke their beaks into, and purple coneflowers, a favorite of bees.
June 11, 2016
ISSUE | ZOOS Ways to learn about and conserve wildlife Harambe's death at the Cincinnati Zoo was very sad but certainly understandable. Concerning the Inquirer's editorial on the story ("Harambe reconsidered," June 3), which questioned the ethics of keeping primates and other large animals captive in urban centers, there are some thoughts that should be considered. I was a zookeeper at the Philadelphia Zoo for more than 24 years. I have observed and studied captive and wild animals, including gorillas, elephants, and killer whales (orcas)
April 16, 2016
If toads aren't your style, wildlife is there for the viewing in other places in and around Philadelphia. John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (8601 Lindbergh Blvd., 215-365-3118, www.fws.gov/heinz ) is an important rest stop and feeding site for migrating birds, and home to a breeding pair of bald eagles, whose nest can be seen from one of the refuge's hiking trails. There are volunteer opportunities and family-friendly activities scheduled all year round. In the fall, you can watch the migration of 16 different kinds of birds of prey, such as hawks and eagles, from the observation deck at Fort Washington State Park (500 Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, Pa.)
November 30, 2015 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. We have been down this road before, in a sense. East Nantmeal, a township of 1,858 people scattered over 16.4 square miles, is lumped into the Chester Springs zip code, 19425, with fellow Chester County communities West Pikeland, Upper Uwchlan, Wallace, and West Vincent Townships. Two years ago, a visit to Chester Springs and its component parts found, as in many other areas of the Philadelphia region, a housing market on what real estate agents were calling "the comeback trail.
August 24, 2015 |
Cameras mounted inside wildlife crossings beneath the Atlantic City Expressway a year ago have produced a few amusing images but not hard evidence of the passageway's usage. A curious but common everyday raccoon sits up on hind legs and peers into the darkness in one of seven images the state Department of Environmental Protection released this month. Then there's a beaver with a mouth full of sticks, and a young, white-tailed deer that resembles a Chihuahua as its oversize ears are illuminated by the beams of a brilliant sun. But the endangered northern pine snake and the tiny tree frogs targeted for protection have not been captured by any of the eight motion-triggered cameras inside the culverts under the highway.
November 24, 2014 |
When he created a natural habitat on the acre surrounding his Cape May County home, Mike Crewe didn't know he'd be summoned to court to answer for it. His Lower Township property had become a kind of oasis amid the area's manicured lawns, a colorful meadow for monarch butterflies, native bees, and other species of wildlife. Its native grasses, seed- and berry-laden plants, and nectar-bearing flowers such as milkweed provided a feast and a rest stop. So Crewe, program director of the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory, was disappointed by the reaction of neighbors who complained about his unmowed grounds to the municipality, which cited him for code violations last winter.
July 22, 2014 |
At the beginning of a work week that promised hot, steamy days, five high school students put on bug repellent, yellow hard hats, gardening gloves, and work boots before Monday's shift at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. For the next several hours, they pushed wheelbarrows full of water, shoveled soil, and tended to the native plants they added last week to the area in front of the visitor center. The crew members are in the middle of a six-week summer job that calls for them to work on projects varying from removing invasive plants to replacing park benches - thus the hard hats.
January 20, 2014 |
Mike Gambardello, a construction worker from Pennsauken, has been hunting for 17 of his 25 years. He recalls clearly and with pride taking down his first deer, a four-point buck, in the Pine Barrens at age 15. His father was there to see it. "It's the biggest high you can ever get in your life," he said. But in the last several years, Gambardello has become increasingly aware of other hunters in the woods: Coyotes. "Eight years ago, it was very, very rare," he said. "Now walk down the road, and you see more coyote tracks than deer tracks.
January 17, 2014 |
As far as historian Etienne Benson can determine, the nation's great squirrel experiment began in 1847 in Philadelphia, when three of the plucky little rodents - a wildlife novelty at the time - were released into Franklin Square. At the time, trees - nut trees especially - were scarce, so keeping them here took some effort. Officials actually provided nest boxes and food. Urban reformers thought the tiny beasts were beautifying the city and elevating the moral character of the citizenry.
November 30, 2013 |
When Hurricane Sandy barreled into New Jersey a year ago, it left a 22-mile trail of debris across the tidal marshes and woodlands of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge along the Jersey Shore. Roofs, docks, boats, household chemicals, and trash were carried by an eight-foot surge into parts of the 47,000-acre wildlife habitat, stretching through Atlantic, Ocean, and Burlington Counties. Wildlife Drive, an eight-mile stretch of road through the refuge, was heavily damaged and shut down.