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Earthshine Nature Programs Fall Benefit Events

25 Sep benfranklin

BENEFIT EVENT #1

Date: October 01, 2016

Time: 1-4pm

  Location: SANCTUARY BREWING COMPANY Hendersonville, NC

BENEFIT EVENT #2

Date: October 03, 2016

Time: 5-8pm

Location: OSKAR BLUES BREWERY

Brevard, NC

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Come to one or both events, bring the family and friends and join us as Sanctuary and Oskar Blues as both wonderful establishments will be donating a portion of taproom sales during the events to 

Earthshine Nature Programs! 

Learn all about our wildlife education, rehabilitation, conservation, outreach, science and renewable energy programming. 

Meet many of our education animals including Rex the Tortoise, Scar and Slip the Ratsnakes, and Ashley the Boa Constrictor and more!

Help us raise funds for our newest project at our science, nature and wildlife rehabilitation and conservation center – a 5.3 kW solar energy system that will help us power most of the heating, lighting, and water filtration systems for our education and rehabilitation animal habitats as well as and the lighting, audio visual and computing systems for our classroom…and charge our all electric Nissan Leaf outreach vehicle with 100% renewably generated power from the sun!

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*Learn more about our solar energy project at the bottom of this blog post*

Meet special guest Pierce Curren of TV’s Scaly Adventures and hear all about his adventures sharing his love of reptiles and nature with everyone he meets! 

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Local artists will be on hand offering their unique wildlife and nature themed art, photography, and jewelry with a portion of the proceeds directly supporting our work. 

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Steve and friends will start off the event with a one of a kind music jam with indigenous instruments such as the didgeridoo, flute and drum.  If you play, please bring an instrument and join in on the fun!

At the Oskar Blues event we will also have an Electric Vehicle car show where you can learn all about and maybe even take a ride in an electric car!  The Blue Ridge Electric Vehicle Club will have several sleek EVs on display including the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, BMW i3 on site! 

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All donations are tax deductible.

Find us on Facebook at Earthshine Nature Programs.

Receive updates from our programs on the Earthshine Nature Blog at http://www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

If you are unable to make it to one of our fundraisers and would still like to support us, please feel free to visit our Amazon wishlist or the donate page on our website where you will find a Paypal donate link.

THANK YOU

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Earthshine Nature Programs is a 501c3 nonprofit wildlife conservation and rehabilitation, nature and science education organization, and is a separate business entity from EEarthshine Discovery Center.


Please support our

Our Solar Energy Project

Earthshine Nature Programs and Trails Science is working to develop an environmental education classroom and wildlife rehabilitation facility that is powered by the sun!  Our goal with this project is to drastically reduce our carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels by taking advantage of the most renewable energy source – our nearest star.

This 5.3 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array will not only supply our classroom with renewably generated power but it will be a bold teaching tool for the students of Trails Carolina, The Academy at Trails Carolina, and our visitors. It will offer our students a myriad of learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, environmental education, and conservation courses. It will also provide web interface technologies that will allow the system to be monitored in real-time by students in class or from anywhere on the planet!

Once online, this solar farm will not only provide much of the power used by the science classroom but it will also provide enough solar generated electricity to power our nonprofit outreach vehicle, an all-electric Nissan Leaf.

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Our students and visitors will benefit greatly from the applied use of renewable energy technologies in class by experiencing the first hand functioning of real world, renewable energy applications such as solar-electric power, and electric vehicles.  In our unique solar powered science classroom they will bust through the negative myths often associated with renewable energy and electric vehicles by assisting with the maintenance of, and studying of the most up-to-date technologies in class.  After leaving Trails our graduates will be more up to date, connected, and ready to accept the reality of, and make use of, sustainable clean energy power and transportation systems to power their lives and their futures.

To make this grand vision a reality we have partnered with Black Bear Solar Institute (BBSI) in Towensend, Tennessee with the goal to install a state of the art off-grid solar array that will allow the Trails Science and Nature Center to one day become fully self-powered by the sun!

The students and I have already begun site preparations and will begin installing the solar array in the early fall of 2016 and depending on granting/donation support we hope to have the system online by mid-November if not before.

The following outline shows what components we have already received and the yet to be sourced components.  Two of the three primary components needed to make this project a reality have already been donated – they include;

1.The Solar Panels. 20 240watt solar modules – Donated by FLS Energy, a local utility scale solar installation company from Asheville, NC.  Approximate value: $10,000
2.The charge controllers.  Two (2) Morningstar 600 Volt charge controllers with DC disconnects – Donated by Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute in Towensend Tennessee. Value: $3,600. These devices will monitor the output of the solar panels and the needs of the batteries and regulate the power as the batteries need it.  They are “smart” devices so we will be able to monitor their status from anywhere with an internet connection.
3.Electrical Panels, Wiring and Conduit for Solar Control System. Donated by Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute in Towensend Tennessee. Value: $600.00

4.Aluminum Racking for solar panels. Donated by Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute in Towensend Tennessee. Value: $3,922

Remaining Needs for Solar Project

1.The battery storage – yet to be acquired. This project will rely on 24 Trojan T145 EHPT 6 Volt golf cart batteries to store power for use at night and on cloudy days.  Need: 24 Trojan T145 EHPT 6 volt batteries. Estimated cost: $5256

Via Amazon

2. The power inverter – yet to be acquired.  The remaining primary component for this system to work as planned is the power inverter.  This device ties everything together, converts DC to AC power and is the “brains” of the system.  Need: 1 Aims 6000 Watt 48V Pure Sine Power Inverter / Grid Charger / Transfer Switch PICOGLF60W48VCost: $1392.00 via:http://invertersrus.com/product/aims-picoglf60w48v120v/

or via Amazon.

Other components needed to make it a reality.

Hidden Costs: $2,500  – these are the unseen costs that will come up during construction and upgrades to the ENP/Trails Science and Nature Center.  Should this not be needed immediately, it will be deposited into the ENP account and used for future needs.

Primary Supporters of Our Solar Project

Black Bear Solar Institute

Bob Harris – Executive Director

www.blackbearsolarinstitute.org

Bob Harris:bob.harris@blackbearsolarinstitute.org

*Donated many of the components needed to construct this system and new, energy efficient computers for the classroom and providing pro bono guidance, technical expertise, and installation assistance

FLS Energy

www.flsenergy.com

Frank Marshall: frank@flsenergy.com

*Donated 20 new 240 watt solar modules.

Jim Hardy

Master carpenter, passionate educator, and founder of Charge Transylvania CountyProviding construction and installation assistance.

Email: jh3@citcom.net

 Trails Carolina

Supports the project and its great value to the students and the organization

 The Academy at Trails Carolina

Supports the project and its great value to the students and the organization

Jewell Mimms donated $1000 – THANK YOU!!

NOTE: Anyone donating components or funds to this project have the option to have your name engraved on a custom made plaque* that will be attached to the solar array for all future visitors and students to witness.

*Plaque will be made by the students and Naturalist Steve O’Neil

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A note from Executive Director Steve O’Neil

I am conducting all of these upgrades under my very small wildlife, nature and science conservation, education and outreach organization Earthshine Nature Programs (501c3) which is supported primarily through monetary, resource, and time donations from concerned individuals just like you. To cover the remaining costs I am working on sourcing grants and donations from any and all sources that would like to support us.

This is the master need list that I would like to see become reality for the betterment of our students, outreach program participants, and education animals now, and for many years into the future.

If you know of any possible monetary or component donation sources and/or granting options please do share this document with them and/or let me know as every little bit helps us get closer to our grand goals that will serve to upgrade our animal habitats, classroom, and research equipment, and power the ENP/Trails Science and Nature Center and outreach vehicle via the endless energy from the sun and most importantly – educate and inspire thousands of middle and high school aged children and adults on the proper respect and understanding of wildlife and wild places and the responsible, clean energy sources we can all use to provide for and empower our shared futures.

I am passionate about sharing my love, curiosity, and respect for nature, wildlife and wild places with everyone I meet – especially my classroom and outreach programming students and participants.  It is the students of today that will make the big wildlife, nature, science and energy decisions of the future, and it is my goal to give them the best possible exposure to the best ethics and practices and leading renewable energy technologies so that they will be better informed and ready to change the world for the better.  I feel that by demonstrating what is possible and working together toward the common goal of creating and maintaining a better world for all living things today and into the future, we will make all of our dreams come true for the betterment of us all and for the earth that supports all of us.  

Sincerely,

Steve O’Neil

Executive Director of Earthshine Nature Programs (501c3)

and

Naturalist with Trails Carolina and The Academy at Trails Carolina

www.earthshinenature.com

(828) 606-8939

134 E. Dogwood Lane

Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

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ENP is running in the Mad Mountain Mud Run for the 3rd year in a row!

26 May

That’s right, 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 30th, 2015!

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For 2015 the Nature Nerds will be sharing the muddy trail with The Trails Turbo Turtles!  The Turbo Turtles consist of several Steve’s 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.

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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!

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Our nerdy nature goal is to run representing Earthshine Nature Programs as our 2015 spring 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.

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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!

Last year and this year the students and I have constructed an obstacle for the Mud Run — take a look at a few photos of this years obstacle that we call the ENP/Trails Turbo Tunnels!!

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

 

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Sponsor Awards

Any donation is welcome and needed however…

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), and on the back of our custom mud run t-shirt that we will proudly wear during the race.

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 award (made by Steve) 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 30 th!

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 award (made by Steve) 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.

An awesome mud covered photo from the end of the 2015

Mad Mountain Mud Run.

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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  – Ratsnake Tracks. A radio telemetry project  tracking two large Black rat snakes at The Academy at Trails Carolina.  This will be part of a hands-on citizen and student science class led by Steve for the Academy at Trails Carolina and Trails Wilderness students.

Projects A-B 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 Rat snakes 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 C: Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation: ongoing support of our wildlife rescue and rehabilitation activities that works primarily with the Eastern box turtle and Opossum.

Project D: 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.

Below are some of our past sponsors and supporters

THANK YOU All!

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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 year’s 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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First Box Turtle Rehab for 2015!

25 May

About a month ago I was contacted by a local man who had found a wild Eastern box turtle in his driveway.  This turtle was very sick, its eyes were swollen shut, it had a nasty nasal discharge and it was very weak and thin–all the symptoms of the classic upper respiratory infection that box turtles are often afflicted with shortly after coming out of hibernation.  I directed the man to take the turtle to my wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Coleman of Haywood Animal Hospital in Hendersonville, NC.  He did so, Dr. Coleman expertly treated it, and I later picked it us for convalescence at the nature and science center.  When I picked up the turtle I noted that it was light in weight and looked miserable.  If you have ever had a bad sinus infection you will understand.

I isolated the turtle in a warm enclosure separate from all other education animals because there is always the chance that this turtle had a much more serious viral or bacterial infection that we would not want to inadvertently transmit to the other animals.

The students and I cared for the turtle for about a month, keeping it hydrated, giving it antibiotic injections, and finally feeding it loads of earthworms, vitamin enhanced canned cat food and fruit which it readily accepted.

On may 15th the turtle was fully recovered and went home with it’s rescuer to be released in its native habitat and as you can see in the photos they both look very happy and healthy.

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 Thank you sir for caring about wildlife and going above and beyond to help this turtle recover and get back to playing an active role in a healthy ecosystem.

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Another wonderful wildlife rehabilitation success story!

If you find a sick or injured turtle, snake or Opossum and you are local to the Western North Carolina area, please do contact me and I will work with you to help the injured animal recover and get back into its native habitat as fast as possible.  If you live far from Western NC and need help with an injured animal, please feel free to contact me for information, which I will be more than happy to provide, but for immediate care you will need to contact your local veterinarians as they often have lists of wildlife rehabilitation facilities that will be willing to help.

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It is our goal at Earthshine Nature Programs and Trails Science to promote wildlife conservation through our unique, exciting, citizen science based, hands-on education, out-reach programs, and online with our nature videos, blog, website and in our environmental education classes at

Trails Academy and Trails Carolina.

What is Earthshine Nature Programs?

Earthshine Nature Programs is a separate entity from Earthshine Discovery Center and Trails Carolina/Academy however, we work directly with these institutions of environmental education to promote the conservation and respect of our native wildlife and wild places. 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.

Earthshine Nature Programs is a grass-roots, 501c3 non profit, volunteer operated and donation funded organization.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you, this important wildlife conservation, rehabilitation, and public 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.

 For more detailed info on our projects and programs please take a look at our website: http://www.earthshinenature.com

Follow us on this blog  www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

Learn more about Trails Carolina and Trails Academy and see if our unique programs may fit into your child’s education needs.

Visit our friends at the Earthshine Discovery Center and 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 and Snake Tracks Field Update for April 13, 2015

13 Apr

I have confirmed that almost all of the reptiles at both the Earthshine Discovery Center and Sky Valley (Trails Academy/Trails Carolina) Study sites are out of hibernation! Catherine, Zoe, Paula Journeys, Shelly Echo, Splinter and Apollo are all on the move heading toward their spring feeding and basking grounds.

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I found Catherine about 200 feet west of her den basking in the late afternoon sun.  The epoxy on her transmitter looks rough because I was forced to replace her previous unit a few weeks ago due to the cold weather prematurely depleting the energy in the previous units battery.   On an upcoming field excursion I will smooth out the edges of the expoy so it will be less likely to get snagged on vegetation.

zoe4.12.15  Zoe basking on the warm leaf litter.

She is only a few hundred yards from the top of the ridge and seems to be moving east toward her summer feeding grounds near the waterfall.  If you live in the vicinity of her movement areas, please be aware that she is active and will be moving through soon.

I was unable to locate Jimmy Irwin the Eastern box turtle and Utsanati the Timber rattlesnake. It seems that Utsanati’s transmitter may have exhausted it’s battery due to the very cold temperatures we had near the end of the winter. It will now be a chore to find him but I do know all of his “old haunts” so hopefully I will be able to locate him in the next few weeks. As for Jimmy Irwin, I do not know why his transmitter would have stopped transmitting–it should have had several more months of power remaining before needing to be replaced. It is possible that Jimmy has been predated or his transmitter’s antenna has been chewed off by rodents.  I am leaning more toward the rodent theory as I have had this happen before with Catherine and it greatly reduces the range and lifespan of the transmitter.  I will need to do a more thorough search in a week in order to know more.

apolloontree4.8.15Apollo basking just outside of a tree cavity.

The Trails students from Journeys wilderness assisted me with locating Apollo the Rat snake a few days ago.  We found him basking in the afternoon sunshine just outside of a rather large tree cavity on an old dead oak tree.  The students and I were very excited to see him looking so healthy after sleeping underground for over five months.  This experience was a great teachable moment for the students, many of whom had never seen a wild rat snake in it’s natural environment.  We discussed reptile biology, why they need to hibernate, and why old, rotting trees like this one are important to this species of snake and many other species of wildlife such as birds, squirrels, bats and insects.  If you have standing dead trees on your land that are not endangering any structures or anyone, please consider leaving them for wildlife.

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Master Splinter basking on a low limb.

A couple of weeks ago the students from Trails Academy assisted me in locating Master Splinter during our natural resource management and conservation class. We found him outstretched on a low limb, basking in the early spring sunshine.  Then, a few days ago Trails Wilderness group Bravo joined me and we found him sunning on the limb of an old bent oak about 35 feet off the ground.  Everyone was able to see him before he moved back inside the tree to hide from us while we collected vital environmental data and held class under the greening forest canopy.

Keep your eyes open when hiking in the forests and fields or driving the roads and riding the trails because our scaly friends are out and about and we need to do all we can to help them help us.

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What is Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks?

Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks are citizen/student science reptile conservation and research projects occurring at two separate study sites near Lake Toxaway and Dupont Forest in the mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Through the magic of modern technology and a lot of hard volunteer work by a wildlife conservationist and his small crew of students, and volunteers, glimpse into the lives of four wild Eastern box turtles, two Rat snakes and two Timber rattlesnakes in their natural habitats. For more detailed info on the project please take a look at our website: http://www.earthshinenature.com

Follow us on this blog  www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

It is our goal at Earthshine Nature Programs and Trails Science 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 and in our environmental education classes at Trails Academy and Trails Carolina.

What is Earthshine Nature Programs?

Earthshine Nature Programs is a separate entity from Earthshine Discovery Center and Trails Carolina/Academy however, we work directly with these institutions of education to promote the conservation and respect of our native wildlife and wild places. 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.

Earthshine Nature Programs is a grass-roots, 501c3 non profit, volunteer operated and donation funded organization.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you, this important reptile conservation and public 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.

Learn more about Trails Carolina and Trails Academy and see if our unique programs may fit into your child’s education needs.

Visit our friends at the Earthshine Discovery Center and 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 and Snake Tracks winter field report and a snakey surprise!

19 Mar

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This is a late winter video report on the status of all the reptiles in the Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks reptile conservation and education projects currently being conducted by Earthshine Nature Programs.

 

 

In the following video the students and I encounter the unexpected when we find Splinter the Rat snake out of his den basking in the late winter sunshine!

 

 

Wasn’t that amazing!!!

We are gearing up for a great year so please continue following in our Turtle and Snake Tracks by following this blog and better yet, consider a donation to Earthshine Nature Programs today – THANK YOU!

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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 animals live.  Thank you for taking care of these highly misunderstood but yet oh so important parts of a healthy ecosystem.

The story continues…

—————————————————————————

What is Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks?

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

http://www.earthshinenature.com

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

It is our goal at Earthshine Nature Programs 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.

What is Earthshine Nature Programs?

Earthshine Nature Programs is a separate entity from Earthshine Discovery Center and Trails Carolina/Academy.  We are a grass-roots, 501c3 non profit and 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 public 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 our friends at the Earthshine Discovery Center and 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.

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Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks Field Report for October – November 2014

28 Dec

This field report  covers a two month time span between early October and mid November 2014.  In this report I locate all four reptiles currently being followed in the Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks projects at our Earthshine study site, I replace the radio transmitter on Jimmy Irwin the male box turtle,  locate Catherine and Jimmy nearing and then in their dens,  find both rattlesnakes very close together and then later in their dens, listen to coyotes singing in the distance, install den cameras watching Utsanati, the male snakes’, den entrance in the hopes of getting video of him moving into his den and more.

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Current Status: presently both turtles and both snakes are sleeping the winter away safely in their overwintering dens.  In fact, they are all in the same overwintering locations they have used repeatedly over previous winters.  Catherine and Jimmy the box turtles are only inches away from where they spent the last three winters in a row and they are both within the boundary of what I call their overwintering zones.  These zones are areas contained within a 40 foot radius of the most frequently used overwintering locations.

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The Timber rattlesnakes are also using overwintering sites they have repeatedly used in the past.  Zoe, the female snake, overwintered on the other side of the ridge last year but this year has returned to the exact den site she had used over the winters of 2011-12 and 2012-13.  Utsanati, the male snake, is in the same hibernation zone as in all years previous however, this year he is resting in a new underground location about 25 feet from the den entrance.

It is remarkable to me that these reptiles have the ability to zero in on these same small locations at the same time each year.  The fact that these animals use these same locations each year without much variation also suggests that these habitat locations may be imperative to their very survival.

Although most animals do have differing levels of ability to adapt to changing habitat conditions, I believe that if important habitat sites such as these overwintering zones were to be destroyed or drastically altered, limiting or removing the ability of overwintering by these reptiles, that these animals may in fact adapt in the short run, especially if it was a warm winter.  However, the stresses imposed on them to find and overwinter in a new location in subsequent years and over colder winters may lower their fat reserves, weaken their immune system, and possibly be highly detrimental to their very existence.

zoeonlimb9.14.14b

Many studies have shown that habitat disruption or alteration is beneficial in some ways for many species of wildlife.  For example, with these turtle and snakes it seems that during their active months, and for the turtles the winter months, they frequent the edge habitat created by a wide power line access-way that cuts through the middle of all of their habitats.  This forest opening provides many areas of dense cover for the reptiles to shelter in while resting or foraging.  All four of the reptiles most frequented areas–including the box turtles overwintering locations–fall within or adjacent to the access way’s sunny openings which provide great thermoregulation opportunities as well as a greater biodiversity than the surrounding forests or fields.  This edge habitat in turn supports many different species of plants and animals, many of which are excellent food sources for both the turtles and the snakes.   However, even with the enhanced habitat and resulting good feeding, thermoregulation and overwintering opportunities provided by the edge effect created by the man made power-line access-way, it remains unclear what would happen to these reptiles should their overwintering zones be damaged or destroyed.  In this case I believe the best option for protection and conservation of these reptiles and their habitat is the continued benign neglect of their habitats.  In other words–leave these animals and their overwintering sites alone (except for some occasional non invasive status and population monitoring), and leave nature alone, and it will take care of itself and everyone will be happy.

As in the past I have produced a video documentary of my field work with these reptiles over the later part of 2014.  It is a special extended length 2 part documentary of Turtle and Snake Tracks.  Please join me as I follow the movements of the snakes and turtles as they move closer, and finally into, their winter dens over a two month span of time.

See the videos below for all the details.

Part 1

Part 2

If the videos will not play please try following the links below:

Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JScFv_sVylM

Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VWZQ_OlWtc

zoeonlimb9.14.14a

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About the Turtle Tracks and Snake Tracks wildlife conservation projects.

The reptiles in this wildlife conservation education project are wild animals that live free in the remote forests and surrounding human maintained fields and subdivisions surrounding Earthshine Discovery Center in Lake Toxaway, NC.

The purpose of this study is to learn as much as possible about the natural movements and habitat usage of wild Timber rattlesnakes and Eastern box turtles that live wild yet in and around areas used and manipulated by humans. Results from this study will be used to help conserve and protect these species and their habitats from harm through better land use and management practices, via these Youtube documentaries and blog postings, and through outreach programming in the Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, and upstate South Carolina areas.

Through the magic of modern technology and many hours often taxing volunteer work by a wildlife conservationist and his small crew of volunteers and students, glimpse into the lives of wild reptiles in their natural habitats. For more detailed info on the project please take a look at the ENP website: http://www.earthshinenature.com

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

About Earthshine Nature Programs (ENP)

ENP is a 501c3 non profit wildlife conservation and outreach organization that operates as a separate entity from Earthshine Discovery Center. We do we pay ourselves 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 and greatly misunderstood animals and hopefully, to impart to you their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth, healthy wildlife and healthy humans.  Please contact us if you are interested in having Earthshine Nature Programs speak to your class, camp, group, festival, or special event.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated time, supplies, and funds, 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, reptile vitamins and habitat supplies just contact us for more information on what supplies we are in need of and how to donate.

Visit our friends at 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 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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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.

jimmy9.14.14

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!

zoeonlimb9.14.14b

See the video below for all the details.

If the video will not play try following the link below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e3Cp4mZvV0

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.

ENPLOGOsm.34263214_std

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.

utsanati8.7.14fed

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.

ENPLOGOsm.34263214_std

ENP is not 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

ENPLOGOsm.34263214_std

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.

enn1

It was a success in many ways.

jasonmud2

We ran through mud and it was fun!

tire3

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

teamjands

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

ttteam1a

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!

ttteam2d

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!

enn3

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.

samandkristin2

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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