Snake Tracks and Turtle Tracks for September 2014

30 Sep

Today I locate all four reptiles currently being followed in the Snake Tracks project at our Earthshine Discovery Center study site.

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All of the reptiles are gradually moving closer to their overwintering locations.

What I found today

Utsanati: On the surface in a resting coil in the power line access way where I have found him many times before over the last three years (that’s Utsanati above).

Jimmy Irwin: Also in a location where I have found him before–under some bushes a few feet to the east of the leap of faith platform.

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Catherine: In the “Turtle Sanctuary” under some grass in a location where I have found her every year at this time since 2008!

Zoe: I found her in a new location where I have never found her before–she was resting on a fallen limb 3.5 feet off the ground!

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See the video below for all the details.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e3Cp4mZvV0

If the video will not play try following the link below:

zoeonlimb9.14.14a

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Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks are reptile conservation, research and public wildlife conservation and education projects occurring near Earthshine Discovery Center and Dupont Forest in the mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Through the magic of modern technology and allot of hard volunteer work by a wildlife conservationist and his small crew of volunteers, glimpse into the lives of two wild Eastern box turtles, two wild Timber rattlesnakes and two wild Rat snakes in their natural habitats. For more detailed info on the project please take a look at the website at:

http://www.earthshinenature.com

and

Follow us on our nature blog at: www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

It is our goal at ENP to promote wildlife conservation through our field research and unique, exciting, citizen science based, hands-on education, out-reach programs, and online with our nature videos, blog and website.

ENP is a 501c3 non profit charity. We are not paid nor do we collect a salary to operate ENP or to conduct our wildlife conservation activities. ENP is a 100% volunteer operated and donation funded organization. It is our mission to educate you about these beautiful but greatly misunderstood animals and hopefully, to impart to you their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth, healthy wildlife and healthy humans.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you this important reptile conservation and education work would not happen. If you would like to support Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate by visiting

www.earthshinenature.com/donate

You may also donate supplies such as animal foods, medical supplies, vitamins and habitat supplies just contact us for more information on what supplies we are in need of and how to donate.

Visit www.earthshinediscovery.com to learn how you and your family, school, scout, corporate or camp group, can visit the Earthshine Discovery Center and have a wonderful fun and educational all inclusive mountain top retreat!

Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers www.steepcanyon.com used with written permission.

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ENP is not responsible for ads that may appear below this line.
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Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks for early August 2014

19 Aug

Today I locate all four reptiles currently being followed in the Snake Tracks project at our Earthshine Discovery Center study site.

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What I found today

Utsanati: had recently fed and had a very full stomach and was only a few yards from Jimmy Irwin the box turtle!

Jimmy Irwin: was in form bedded down for the night.

Catherine: was also in form bedded down for the night.

Zoe: unknown–I was unable to visually locate her due to thick, thorny vegetation.

See the video below for all the details.

 

 

If the video will not play try following the link below:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDmRJrkBa-g

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Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks are reptile conservation, research and public wildlife conservation and education projects occurring near Earthshine Discovery Center and Dupont Forest in the mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Through the magic of modern technology and allot of hard volunteer work by a wildlife conservationist and his small crew of volunteers, glimpse into the lives of two wild Eastern box turtles, two wild Timber rattlesnakes and one wild ratsnake in their natural habitats. For more detailed info on the project please take a look at the website at: http://www.earthshinenature.com

and

Follow us on our nature blog at: www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

It is our goal at ENP to promote wildlife conservation through our field research and unique, exciting, citizen science based, hands-on education, out-reach programs, and online with our nature videos, blog and website.

ENP is a 501c3 non profit charity. We are not paid nor do we collect a salary to operate ENP or to conduct our wildlife conservation activities. ENP is a 100% volunteer operated and donation funded organization. It is our mission to educate you about these beautiful but greatly misunderstood animals and hopefully, to impart to you their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth, healthy wildlife and healthy humans.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you this important reptile conservation and education work would not happen. If you would like to support Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate by visiting

www.earthshinenature.com/donate

You may also donate supplies such as animal foods, medical supplies, vitamins and habitat supplies just contact us for more information on what supplies we are in need of and how to donate.

Visit www.earthshinediscovery.com to learn how you and your family, school, scout, corporate or camp group, can visit the Earthshine Discovery Center and have a wonderful fun and educational all inclusive mountain top retreat!

Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers www.steepcanyon.com used with written permission.

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ENP is not responsible for ads that may appear below this line.
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Ratsnake Tracks Field Report For July-Early August 2014

10 Aug

This is a new update on ENP’s newest reptile conservation and research project Snake Tracks: Ratsnake Tracks.  This project is being conducted at The Academy at Trails Carolina by Steve O’Neil and his natural resource and conservation management and wilderness therapy students as part of Steve’s ongoing reptile focused wildlife conservation citizen science projects.

In Snake Tracks: Splinter’s Tracks we follow in the tracks and trails of a wild adult Ratsnake known affectionately as Master Splinter.  Splinter was found by Steve just outside the nature center in the fall of 2013.  Shortly thereafter Splinter was fitted with a radio transmitter, treated for internal parasites, fed lots of mice and then overwintered in the nature center to await his release in the spring.

In early May Splinter was released and radio tracking has commenced.

Lately Splinter has been spending lots of time in and around the buildings on campus.  He is frequenting attics crawlspaces of unused and used buildings as well as large, hollow habitat trees.  I believe he is using these areas as foraging, thermoregulating and sheltering sites.

Watch the most recent field report videos from Splinter’s Tracks below.

Video Field Report Day 6:  Today we found Splinter on the move and weighed him.

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSJ3URiCo5w

 

Video Field Report Day 7 and 8: Today we find Splinter in the attic of an old cabin.

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_TdyPC3UWA

 

Video Field Report Day 9-12: Over these four tracking days we find Splinter moving between several buildings and a large den tree. This is a longer video than most but it is well worth the watch.

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NfJz5ZQQJs

 

Where will Splinter go next?

Follow this blog to stay up to date with the adventures of Master Splinter the ratsnake.

 

THANK YOU ALL!

Thank you all for making the Snake Tracks and Turtle Tracks wildlife conservation projects possible.  Thank you for continuing to support Earthshine Nature Programs over the last seven years.  If the turtles and snakes could speak they would thank you even more than I because due to your support they will in turn be supported through the efforts of science being put to use in the areas of wildlife and habitat conservation.  Thank you also to the land owners in the community where these turtles and snakes live.  Thank you for taking care of these highly misunderstood but yet oh so important parts of a healthy ecosystem.

The story continues…

—————————————————————————

Snake Tracks is a reptile conservation and research project occurring near Earthshine Discovery Center and Dupont Forest in the mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Through the magic of modern technology and allot of hard volunteer work by a wildlife conservationist and his small crew of volunteers and students, glimpse into the lives of two wild Timber rattlesnakes and one Ratsnake in their natural habitats. For more detailed info on the project please take a look at the website at: http://www.earthshinenature.com

Follow us on our blog here at http://www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

It is our goal at ENP to promote wildlife conservation through our unique, exciting, citizen science based, hands-on education, out-reach programs, and online with our nature videos, blog and website.

Earthshine Nature Programs is a separate from Earthshine Discovery Center and is a 501c3 non profit. ENP is a 100% volunteer operated and donation funded organization. It is our mission to educate you about these beautiful but greatly misunderstood animals and hopefully, to impart to you their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth, healthy wildlife and healthy humans.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you this important reptile conservation and education work would not happen. If you would like to support Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate by visiting

http://www.earthshinenature.com/donate

You may also donate supplies such as animal foods, medical supplies, vitamins and habitat supplies just contact us for more information on what supplies we are in need of and how to donate.

Visit http://www.earthshinediscovery.com to learn how you and your family, school, scout, corporate or camp group, can visit the Earthshine Discovery Center and have a wonderful fun and educational retreat!

Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers used with written permission.

www.steepcanyon.com

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Earthshine Nature Programs is in no way affiliated or responsible for ads that may appear below this line.

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TURTLE TRACKS: Jimmy’s Tracks for June/July 2014

4 Aug

This is a video field update for Jimmy Irwin for mid summer 2014.

If you visited Earthshine during June or July of 2014, and you went turtle tracking with me–then this video is for you–enjoy!

 

 

It is our goal at ENP to promote wildlife conservation through our unique, exciting, citizen science based, hands-on education, out-reach programs, and online with our nature videos, blog and website.

We are not paid to operate ENP or to conduct wildlife conservation activities. ENP is a 501c3 nonprofit charity.  We are a 100% volunteer operated and donation funded organization. It is our mission to educate you about these beautiful but greatly misunderstood animals and hopefully, to impart to you their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth, healthy wildlife and healthy humans.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you this important reptile conservation and education work would not happen. If you would like to support Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate by visiting

http://www.earthshinenature.com/donate

You may also donate supplies such as animal foods, medical supplies, vitamins and habitat supplies just contact us for more information on what supplies we are in need of and how to donate.

Visit http://www.earthshinediscovery.com to learn how you and your family, school, scout, corporate or camp group, can visit the Earthshine Discovery Center and have a wonderful fun and educational retreat!

Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers used with written permission.

www.steepcanyon.com

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Earthshine Nature Programs is in no way affiliated or responsible for ads that may appear below this line.

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Our Muddy Fundraiser was a Great Success!

26 Jun

Yes, our spring 2014 fundraiser–the Mad Mountain Mud Run–was a great success.

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It was a success in many ways.

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We ran through mud and it was fun!

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We beat our last year’s time by almost 30 min! WOW!

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One of our three teams even took 2nd place overall!!!! Way to go Turbo Turtles team 2!

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But best of all we raised funds to keep our wildlife rehabilitation, conservation and nature and science education programs and projects  running.  These projects and programs are making a difference not only in the lives of individual animals we have rescued and released back into their native habitats, but also in how people view wildlife, our shared Earth and our connection to all living things!

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We could not have done this without YOU!  Thank you to EVERYONE who sponsored us in our quest to complete the Mad Mountain Mud Run and thank you to the runners who volunteered their time and energy to join us in this monumental muddy challenge!

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As promised I filmed the entire event with my helmet mounted GoPro camera (see in pic above) and with two other cameras stationed along the route to get different angles of our challenge.  With that footage I produced an epic video of the race for all to experience with us–just without the mud, sweat and tears of joy :-)  The soundtrack for the video is provided by local Masters of Musical Mud Ten Toe Turbo who we owe a huge amount of muddy thanks for providing the awesome tunes for this video and for the mud run!  Keep watching at the end of the video for Ten Toe Turbo performing at the mud run.

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Enjoy!

 

The Nature Nerds and Turbo Turtles will return to the mud in 2015!

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SPECIAL THANKS TO: Hands On A Child’s Gallery for making the mud run possible.  Pardee for taking the amazing photos and the following individuals and organizations that sponsored us in this amazing community fundraiser event!

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ENP is not affiliated or responsible for ads that may appear below this line

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Ratsnake Tracks Field Report Days 1-4

9 Jun

This is an update on ENP’s newest reptile conservation and research project Snake Tracks: Ratsnake Tracks.  This project is being conducted at The Academy at Trails Carolina by Steve O’Neil and his natural resource and conservation management and wilderness therapy students as part of Steve’s ongoing reptile focused wildlife conservation citizen science projects.

In Snake Tracks: Splinter’s Tracks we follow in the tracks and trails of a wild adult Ratsnake known affectionately as Master Splinter.  Splinter was found by Steve just outside the nature center in the fall of 2013.  Shortly thereafter Splinter was fitted with a radio transmitter, treated for internal parasites, fed lots of mice and then overwintered in the nature center to await his release in the spring.

In early May Splinter was released and radio tracking has commenced.

Watch all the field report videos from Splinter’s Tracks below.

Video Field Report Day 1:  Discovery and transmitter implantation surgery

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMDNL8zpGj0

 

Video Field Report Day 2: The release and first day of tracking

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrXEIjUTkMU

 

Video Field Report Days 3 and 4: Forest trek

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQN5J_BAQqY

 

Follow this blog to stay up to date with the adventures of Master Splinter the ratsnake.

 

THANK YOU ALL!

Thank you all for making the Snake Tracks and Turtle Tracks wildlife conservation projects possible.  Thank you for continuing to support Earthshine Nature Programs over the last seven years.  If the turtles and snakes could speak they would thank you even more than I because due to your support they will in turn be supported through the efforts of science being put to use in the areas of wildlife and habitat conservation.  Thank you also to the land owners in the community where these turtles and snakes live.  Thank you for taking care of these highly misunderstood but yet oh so important parts of a healthy ecosystem.

The story continues…

—————————————————————————

Snake Tracks is a reptile conservation and research project occurring near Earthshine Discovery Center and Dupont Forest in the mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Through the magic of modern technology and allot of hard volunteer work by a wildlife conservationist and his small crew of volunteers and students, glimpse into the lives of two wild Timber rattlesnakes and one Ratsnake in their natural habitats. For more detailed info on the project please take a look at the website at: http://www.earthshinenature.com

Follow us on our blog here at http://www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

It is our goal at ENP to promote wildlife conservation through our unique, exciting, citizen science based, hands-on education, out-reach programs, and online with our nature videos, blog and website.

We are not paid to operate ENP or to conduct wildlife conservation activities. ENP is a 100% volunteer operated and donation funded organization. It is our mission to educate you about these beautiful but greatly misunderstood animals and hopefully, to impart to you their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth, healthy wildlife and healthy humans.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you this important reptile conservation and education work would not happen. If you would like to support Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate by visiting

http://www.earthshinenature.com/donate

You may also donate supplies such as animal foods, medical supplies, vitamins and habitat supplies just contact us for more information on what supplies we are in need of and how to donate.

Visit http://www.earthshinediscovery.com to learn how you and your family, school, scout, corporate or camp group, can visit the Earthshine Discovery Center and have a wonderful fun and educational retreat!

Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers used with written permission.

www.steepcanyon.com

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Earthshine Nature Programs is in no way affiliated or responsible for ads that may appear below this line.

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Please Support Earthshine Nature’s Mud Run Fundraiser–Tomorrow!

30 May

That’s right folks! Tomorrow, Earthshine Nature Programs Executive Director Steve O’Neil and Team Earthshine Nature Nerds will be running again this year in the Mad Mountain Mud Run 5K in Hendersonville, NC on Saturday May 31st, 2014!

The Nature Nerds are (left to right);

Steve O’Neil (captain),

Will Thomas,

Jason Alfrey,

Steve Atkins

(Hog not included and no animals will be harmed during the mud run)

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For 2014 the Nature Nerds will be sharing the muddy trail with The Trails Turbo Turtles!  The Turbo Turtles consist of several students and staff of The Academy at Trails Carolina and Trails Carolina!  Captain Steve will be overall captain of both the Nature Nerds and the Turbo Turtles.

Many of the Turbo Turtles are experienced runners, hikers, Mtn. bikers and climbers so do not let the name fool you–the Turbo Turtles are a force of nature and may just take overall best time in the Mud Run!

Our nerdy nature goal is to run representing Earthshine Nature Programs as our 2014 primary fundraiser.  To do this we need sponsors that are willing to support Earthshine Nature Programs with a pledge.  Your pledge will provide direct and 100% support to our environmental science education and wildlife rehabilitation and conservation programs and projects.

Our muddy community goal is to run in support of the Hands On A Child’s Gallery based in Hendersonville, NC and Trails Carolina/The Academy at Trails Carolina with our afternoon of challenging obstacles and muddy fun!

As I write this we are working with the coordinators of the Mud Run to plan and construct one of the obstacles that will be used in the race!  More on this later!

Take a look at the course map from last year for a taste of what we may have in store for us this year!  The Nature Nerds and Turbo Turtles constructed a special obstacle for the Mud Run this year–it is #18 on the map–the Turbo Turtle Towers!  It should be a muddy fun challenge!

mudrun14map

Sponsor Awards

Those who sponsor ENP with $50 or more will receive your business logo or name and weblink* on the ENP supporters website,  in a posting in this blog (to be updated after the race), on the back of our custom mud run t-shirt that we will proudly wear during the race, and a custom designed ENP Medici Lighted writing Pen from Myron.com.

Those who sponsor us for $100 or more or more will receive your business logo or name and weblink* on the ENP supporters website,  in a posting in this blog (to be updated after the race), on the back of our custom mud run t-shirt that we will proudly wear during the race and two custom designed ENP Medici Lighted writing Pens from Myron.com.

Those who sponsor us for $500 or more will receive your business logo or name and weblink* on the ENP supporters website,  in a posting in this blog (to be updated after the race), on the back of our custom mud run t-shirt that we will proudly wear during the race, four custom designed ENP Medici Lighted writing Pens from Myron.com, your own custom mud run t-shirt,  and one “Honored Supporter” custom made (by Steve) award which includes a certificate of appreciation and small glass vial filled with a small amount of the actual mud from the race course that we will run through on May 31st!

Those who sponsor us for $1000 or more will receive will receive your business logo or name and weblink* on the ENP supporters website,  in a posting in this blog (to be updated after the race), on the back of our custom mud run t-shirt that we will proudly wear during the race, six custom designed ENP Medici Lighted writing Pens from Myron.com,  your own custom mud run t-shirt,  and one “Honored Supporter” custom made (by Steve) award which includes a certificate of appreciation and small glass vial filled with a small amount of the actual mud from the race course that we will run through on May 31st! On top of all that Steve and his animals will come to you and present a private Misunderstand Wildlife animal show with live animals and a didgeridoo concert at your birthday party, school or other gathering!

*You can opt-out of having your personal/company information publicized on our shirts/websites if you choose.

A great muddy moment from the 2013 Mud Run!

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The nitty gritty muddy dirt of the sponsorship (rules)

After the Earthshine Nature Nerds/Trails Turbo Turtles team completes the race–all sponsored pledges will be collected from the sponsors by June 15th, 2013.  Supporter awards will be awarded within 60 days following the race.

If the Earthshine Nature Nerds/Trails Turbo turtles does not complete the race–no donations will be collected unless you choose to support us despite the fact.

If the race is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances beyond our control you may choose to honor your sponsorship agreement or not.  100% of all donations will be used to provide direct support to our environmental science and wildlife rehabilitation/conservation projects and programs.

You may earmark your donations to the following projects:

Project A: Turtle Tracks Eastern Box Turtle radio telemetry project: currently radio tracking four wild Eastern box turtles at Earthshine Discovery Center and The Academy at Trails Carolina. Two of these turtles are part of the ongoing (since 2008) Turtle Tracks project at Earthshine Discovery Center in Lake Toxaway, NC.  The other two turtles are part of a hands-on wildlife science class led by Steve for the Academy at Trails Carolina and Trails Wilderness students.

Project B: Snake Tracks Timber Rattlesnake radio telemetry project: currently radio tracking two wild Timber rattlesnakes near Earthshine Discovery Center.

Project C: Ratsnake Tracks is a radio telemetry project that will begin tracking one ratsnake at The Academy at Trails Carolina in April of 2014.  This will be part of a hands-on wildlife science class led by Steve for the Academy at Trails Carolina and Trails Wilderness students.

Projects A-C are most important wildlife science and conservation projects seeking to learn as much as possible about the natural movements of some of nature’s most misunderstood creatures.  Data collected during these projects will directly benefit the greater understanding and conservation of not only box turtles and rattlesnakes but all reptiles for many years to come.  These projects also directly benefit the continuing hands-on education of middle and high school age youth and accompanying adults–the future of all wildlife conservation.

Project D: Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation: ongoing support of our wildlife rescue and rehabilitation activities that works primarily with the Eastern box turtle and Opossum.

Project E: General program support.  Examples include–animal care, habitat construction and project support: this covers all costs that are not directly part of or that cross over between all of the above listed programs.  Example: radio telemetry equipment,  foods, housing, vitamins, and medications for our resident and rehab animals,  rechargeable batteries, camera equipment etc.

If you do not earmark your donation it will be used where it is most needed in one or more of the above programs.

If you would like to sponsor our team please contact me and we will make arrangements or feel free to donate now via the Earthshine Nature Pay Pal account.

You may sponsor us with either monetary pledges or supplies.  If you would like to pledge supplies please contact us for a list of our current needs.

No matter if you choose to support us or not,  please do come out to Berkley Park and watch all of the mud runners get muddy and have fun for a couple of great causes–the education of children and conservation of wildlife and nature!

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If you know anyone who may like to support ENP with a sponsorship or donation please forward this post on to them–THANK YOU!

After last years Mud Run we were all smiles–it was great fun!

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NOTE: The Nature Nerds will video/photograph their perspective of the race using the latest technology including an HD GoPro camera and several volunteer friends with cameras stationed around the race course so that this years nerdy muddy experience will be able to be shared by all!  A few weeks following the race look for the video to be posted here on the ENP Nature Blog!

Take a look at last years race video below!

 

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THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!

That’s all for now…I need to go train!

Steve O’Neil, ENP Executive Director and Mad Mountain Mud Runner

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Earthshine Nature Programs is not responsible for or affiliated with ads that may

appear below this line.

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Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks Field Update for May 21, 2014

21 May

This is an update on the Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks reptile conservation and education projects being conducted by Earthshine Nature Programs.

Turtle Tracks Update: All four turtles are out of hibernation and on the move about the mountains.  Catherine and Jimmy the box turtles were not far from their overwintering locations.  Paula Journeys and Shelly Echo, the two box turtles we are tracking at our Sky Valley study site, are also on the move although as with the Earthshine turtles they are also not far from their overwintering locations.

Utsanati and Zoe have moved a good distance away from their dens and while Utsanati was visible resting on the surface I was unable to locate Zoe as she was sheltering deep inside a thorny thicket or in a rotting log on both locate days.

Watch the video reports from the the last few locate days below:

Video 1: Turtle and Snake Tracks Field Report for May 08, 2014

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT7UvBwVVyw

 

Video 2: Snake Tracks Field Report for May 18, 2014

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxC0D65k4tY

 

Ratsnake Tracks

Splinter, the large black ratsnake we are tracking at the Sky valley site, was released a few days ago and is on the move in the forest and it seems like he wants to get as far away as possible from the nature center!  Take a look at the video below for the details from his release day!

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrXEIjUTkMU

These amazing reptile conservation and education projects would not be possible without your support–

THANK YOU ALL!

Thank you all for making the Snake Tracks and Turtle Tracks wildlife conservation projects possible.  Thank you for continuing to support Earthshine Nature Programs over the last seven years.  If the turtles and snakes could speak they would thank you even more than I because due to your support they will in turn be supported through the efforts of science being put to use in the areas of wildlife and habitat conservation.  Thank you also to the land owners in the community where these turtles and snakes live.  Thank you for taking care of these highly misunderstood but yet oh so important parts of a healthy ecosystem.

I leave you with a photo of Utsanati that I took on April 30, 2014

utsanati4.30.14

The story continues…

——————————————————————————————————-

Follow us on our blog here at http://www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

It is our goal at ENP to promote wildlife conservation through our unique, exciting, citizen science based, hands-on education, out-reach programs, and online with our nature videos, blog and website.

We are not paid to operate ENP or to conduct wildlife conservation activities. ENP is a 100% volunteer operated and donation funded organization. It is our mission to educate you about these beautiful but greatly misunderstood animals and hopefully, to impart to you their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth, healthy wildlife and healthy humans.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you this important reptile conservation and education work would not happen. If you would like to support Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate by visiting

http://www.earthshinenature.com/donate

You may also donate supplies such as animal foods, medical supplies, vitamins and habitat supplies just contact us for more information on what supplies we are in need of and how to donate.

Visit http://www.earthshinediscovery.com to learn how you and your family, school, scout, corporate or camp group, can visit the Earthshine Discovery Center and have a wonderful fun and educational retreat!

Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers used with written permission.

www.steepcanyon.com

ENPLOGOsm.34263214_std

Earthshine Nature Programs is in no way affiliated or responsible for ads that may appear below this line.

———————————————————————————————————–

Snake Tracks Field Update for May 05, 2014

5 May


This is an update on the Snake Tracks reptile conservation and education project being conducted by Earthshine Nature Programs.

After almost six months underground in their hibernaculums (dens) both Zoe and Utsanati the Timber rattlesnakes have made their way out into the forests surrounding Earthshine.   Zoe was first to egress about two to three weeks ago and since then she has moved down to an area below the waterfall.  This is an area where I had found Zoe on two other locate days in the spring of 2012.  The area is characterized by overgrown farm fields, massive wild rose and Blackberry thickets with great solar exposure and plenty of clean water from several small springs, a small mountain bog remnant and a strong flowing creek.  My hypothesis is that Zoe uses this area to feed heavily due to the obvious abundance of rodents living in association with the shelter and food laden bramble thickets.  I was unable to visually locate Zoe on 05-04-14 due to the fact that she was sheltering within a dense area of wild rose and blackberry.

Utsanati is a different story.  He departed hibernation on 04-21-14 at exactly 11:16 am and the temperature was 59F. You may be wondering how I know this detailed information?  The answer is several weeks of persistence and hard work that finally paid off with the photograph you see below.

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I was able to acquire this photograph using one of two trail cameras that I set up to monitor the several holes in the area above Utsanati’s den.  I set up the cameras several weeks ago and returned weekly to change the batteries and check the memory cards for any evidence of snake activity.  As I always do I documented all of my activities in order to bring my reptilian research activities to you, my supporters.  If you are interested in watching the full story of the Trail Cameras, all of the related videos can be found below.

Video 1:   3/21/14 Installation of the Trail Cameras.

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUTcQKQX36Y

 

Video 2: 3/31/14  A visit with the hibernating turtles and a snake camera check.

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIPuV38UovY

 

Video 3:  4/7/14 Another camera check and a reptilian surprise!

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DehpqVIoZ_A

 

Video 4: 4/30/14  The big discovery–Utsanati’s egress from his den!

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14LTLHuGnd8

 

This trail camera project has revealed some incredible data on the life of the Timber rattlesnake in the hardwood forests of western North Carolina.

What have we learned?

1. We now have some quality location/time/date data for this one snake’s egress from his hibernaculum.

2. Utsanati may use this large hole as the primary entrance/exit to/from his hibernaculum.  He may use the other holes in the area as well.

3. Utsanati did not appear to re-enter or remain near the den in the camera monitored area.

4. Utsanati may be the only Timber rattlesnake using this den unless there were other snakes that exited the den after I removed the cameras ten days after his emergence.

5. Utsanati may share his den with at least one Eastern garter snake and several salamanders.

6. Utsanati is not alone in the forest–from snakes and salamanders on the prowl, to birds, Raccoons, Opossums and deer on important business–the area above Utsanati’s den is alive with wildlife!  Note: Photos of all of these animals that share Utsanati’s habitat–and your back yards if you live nearby–can be found in the above videos :-)

7. Persistence and hard work pays off although we still have so much to learn.

8. Above all,  this amazing project would not have been possible without your support–

THANK YOU ALL!

Thank you all for making the Snake Tracks and Turtle Tracks wildlife conservation projects possible.  Thank you for continuing to support Earthshine Nature Programs over the last seven years.  If the turtles and snakes could speak they would thank you even more than I because due to your support they will in turn be supported through the efforts of science being put to use in the areas of wildlife and habitat conservation.  Thank you also to the land owners in the community where these turtles and snakes live.  Thank you for taking care of these highly misunderstood but yet oh so important parts of a healthy ecosystem.

I leave you with a photo of Utsanati that I took on April 30, 2014

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The story continues…

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Snake Tracks is a reptile conservation and research project occurring near Earthshine Discovery Center and Dupont Forest in the mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Through the magic of modern technology and allot of hard volunteer work by a wildlife conservationist and his small crew of volunteers and students, glimpse into the lives of two wild Timber rattlesnakes and one Ratsnake in their natural habitats. For more detailed info on the project please take a look at the website at: http://www.earthshinenature.com

Follow us on our blog here at http://www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

It is our goal at ENP to promote wildlife conservation through our unique, exciting, citizen science based, hands-on education, out-reach programs, and online with our nature videos, blog and website.

We are not paid to operate ENP or to conduct wildlife conservation activities. ENP is a 100% volunteer operated and donation funded organization. It is our mission to educate you about these beautiful but greatly misunderstood animals and hopefully, to impart to you their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth, healthy wildlife and healthy humans.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you this important reptile conservation and education work would not happen. If you would like to support Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate by visiting

http://www.earthshinenature.com/donate

You may also donate supplies such as animal foods, medical supplies, vitamins and habitat supplies just contact us for more information on what supplies we are in need of and how to donate.

Visit http://www.earthshinediscovery.com to learn how you and your family, school, scout, corporate or camp group, can visit the Earthshine Discovery Center and have a wonderful fun and educational retreat!

Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers used with written permission.

www.steepcanyon.com

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Earthshine Nature Programs is in no way affiliated or responsible for ads that may appear below this line.

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Earthshine Nature Running in the 2014 Mad Mountain Mud Run!

7 Apr

Yes, Earthshine Nature Programs Executive Director Steve O’Neil and Team Earthshine Nature Nerds will be running again this year in the Mad Mountain Mud Run 5K in Hendersonville, NC on Saturday May 31st, 2014!

The Nature Nerds are (left to right);

Steve O’Neil (captain),

Will Thomas,

Jason Alfrey,

Steve Atkins

(Hog not included and no animals will be harmed during the mud run)

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For 2014 the Nature Nerds will be sharing the muddy trail with The Trails Turbo Turtles!  The Turbo Turtles consist of several students and staff of The Academy at Trails Carolina and Trails Carolina!  Captain Steve will be overall captain of both the Nature Nerds and the Turbo Turtles.

Many of the Turbo Turtles are experienced runners, hikers, Mtn. bikers and climbers so do not let the name fool you–the Turbo Turtles are a force of nature and may just take overall best time in the Mud Run!

Our nerdy nature goal is to run representing Earthshine Nature Programs as our 2014 primary fundraiser.  To do this we need sponsors that are willing to support Earthshine Nature Programs with a pledge.  Your pledge will provide direct and 100% support to our environmental science education and wildlife rehabilitation and conservation programs and projects.

Our muddy community goal is to run in support of the Hands On A Child’s Gallery based in Hendersonville, NC and Trails Carolina/The Academy at Trails Carolina with our afternoon of challenging obstacles and muddy fun!

As I write this we are working with the coordinators of the Mud Run to plan and construct one of the obstacles that will be used in the race!  More on this later!

Take a look at the course map from last year for a taste of what we may have in store for us this year!  It should be a muddy fun challenge!

Mud-Run-Course-2013

Sponsor Awards

Those who sponsor ENP with $50 or more will receive your business logo or name and weblink* on the ENP supporters website,  in a posting in this blog (to be updated after the race), on the back of our custom mud run t-shirt that we will proudly wear during the race, and a custom designed ENP Medici Lighted writing Pen from Myron.com.

Those who sponsor us for $100 or more or more will receive your business logo or name and weblink* on the ENP supporters website,  in a posting in this blog (to be updated after the race), on the back of our custom mud run t-shirt that we will proudly wear during the race and two custom designed ENP Medici Lighted writing Pens from Myron.com.

Those who sponsor us for $500 or more will receive your business logo or name and weblink* on the ENP supporters website,  in a posting in this blog (to be updated after the race), on the back of our custom mud run t-shirt that we will proudly wear during the race, four custom designed ENP Medici Lighted writing Pens from Myron.com, your own custom mud run t-shirt,  and one “Honored Supporter” custom made (by Steve) award which includes a certificate of appreciation and small glass vial filled with a small amount of the actual mud from the race course that we will run through on May 31st!

Those who sponsor us for $1000 or more will receive will receive your business logo or name and weblink* on the ENP supporters website,  in a posting in this blog (to be updated after the race), on the back of our custom mud run t-shirt that we will proudly wear during the race, six custom designed ENP Medici Lighted writing Pens from Myron.com,  your own custom mud run t-shirt,  and one “Honored Supporter” custom made (by Steve) award which includes a certificate of appreciation and small glass vial filled with a small amount of the actual mud from the race course that we will run through on May 31st! On top of all that Steve and his animals will come to you and present a private Misunderstand Wildlife animal show with live animals and a didgeridoo concert at your birthday party, school or other gathering!

*You can opt-out of having your personal/company information publicized on our shirts/websites if you choose.

A great muddy moment from the 2013 Mud Run!

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The nitty gritty muddy dirt of the sponsorship (rules)

After the Earthshine Nature Nerds/Trails Turbo Turtles team completes the race–all sponsored pledges will be collected from the sponsors by June 15th, 2013.  Supporter awards will be awarded within 60 days following the race.

If the Earthshine Nature Nerds/Trails Turbo turtles does not complete the race–no donations will be collected unless you choose to support us despite the fact.

If the race is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances beyond our control you may choose to honor your sponsorship agreement or not.  100% of all donations will be used to provide direct support to our environmental science and wildlife rehabilitation/conservation projects and programs.

You may earmark your donations to the following projects:

Project A: Turtle Tracks Eastern Box Turtle radio telemetry project: currently radio tracking four wild Eastern box turtles at Earthshine Discovery Center and The Academy at Trails Carolina. Two of these turtles are part of the ongoing (since 2008) Turtle Tracks project at Earthshine Discovery Center in Lake Toxaway, NC.  The other two turtles are part of a hands-on wildlife science class led by Steve for the Academy at Trails Carolina and Trails Wilderness students.

Project B: Snake Tracks Timber Rattlesnake radio telemetry project: currently radio tracking two wild Timber rattlesnakes near Earthshine Discovery Center.

Project C: Ratsnake Tracks is a radio telemetry project that will begin tracking one ratsnake at The Academy at Trails Carolina in April of 2014.  This will be part of a hands-on wildlife science class led by Steve for the Academy at Trails Carolina and Trails Wilderness students.

Projects A-C are most important wildlife science and conservation projects seeking to learn as much as possible about the natural movements of some of nature’s most misunderstood creatures.  Data collected during these projects will directly benefit the greater understanding and conservation of not only box turtles and rattlesnakes but all reptiles for many years to come.  These projects also directly benefit the continuing hands-on education of middle and high school age youth–the future of all wildlife conservation.

Project D: Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation: ongoing support of our wildlife rescue and rehabilitation activities that works primarily with the Eastern box turtle and Opossum.

Project E: General program support.  Examples include–animal care, habitat construction and project support: this covers all costs that are not directly part of or that cross over between all of the above listed programs.  Example: radio telemetry equipment,  foods, housing, vitamins, and medications for our resident and rehab animals,  rechargeable batteries, camera equipment etc.

If you do not earmark your donation it will be used where it is most needed in one or more of the above programs.

If you would like to sponsor our team please contact me and we will make arrangements or feel free to donate now via the Earthshine Nature Pay Pal account.

You may sponsor us with either monetary pledges or supplies.  If you would like to pledge supplies please contact us for a list of our current needs.

No matter if you choose to support us or not,  please do come out to Berkley Park and watch all of the mud runners get muddy and have fun for a couple of great causes–the education of children and conservation of wildlife and nature!

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If you know anyone who may like to support ENP with a sponsorship or donation please forward this post on to them–THANK YOU!

After last years Mud Run we were all smiles–it was great fun!

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NOTE: The Nature Nerds will video/photograph their perspective of the race using the latest technology including an HD GoPro camera and several volunteer friends with cameras stationed around the race course so that this years nerdy muddy experience will be able to be shared by all!  A few weeks following the race look for the video to be posted here on the ENP Nature Blog!

Take a look at last years race video below!

 

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THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!

That’s all for now…I need to go train!

Steve O’Neil, ENP Executive Director and Mad Mountain Mud Runner

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Earthshine Nature Programs is not responsible for or affiliated with ads that may

appear below this line.

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