Written on: December 28th, 2010 in St. Jones Reserve
The scraping of shovels on pavement, the hum of snow blowers, the sound of a tractor plowing blend together in a cacophony to remind us that winter is here. But then, when all the hub bub of dealing with winter has stopped, the beauty of winter emerges. The snow geese in flight, the holly trees glistening with crystals of ice, the cardinals’ bright red against the pure white backdrop, joins with all nature to depict the serenity of winter. Winter has descended on the Reserve in all its splendor!
Have you seen the new issue of the Outdoor Delaware Magazine? Our very own Coastal Training Coordinator, Kelly Valencik, has written an article about sea level rise. We encourage you to click here to view her article in the magazine. Outdoor Delaware is a beautiful magazine produced by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. To order a subscription, to learn more about the magazine, or to become “fans,” visit Outdoor Delaware on their website and on facebook. To find more information about sea level rise and how Delaware is addressing this issue, visit the Delaware Coastal Programs website on sea level rise.
The NERRS has recently developed a user friendly on-line tool to view, download, and graph the information being collected as part of the System Wide Monitoring Program. SWMP data collected in the St. Jones River and Blackbird Creek include water quality measurements such as salinity, pH, water temperature, turbidity, etc.; and weather which includes air temperature, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, etc. This on-line tool can be accessed by clicking here. SWMP data provides pertinent information about our estuaries to resource managers, researchers, and coastal decision makers. For more information about the research being conducted at the Delaware NERR please visit us at our website. Don’t forget that www.estuaries.gov is a great site for information on estuaries!
Imagine yourself living in the 18th century. Electricity had not been invented as of yet and life was a bit more labor intensive. Much of the lighting after the sun went down was done with candles. Candles during that time period were made with tallow (fat from meat), bees wax, or bayberry wax. Bayberry wax was used by the more wealthy population as it took 15 pounds of small bayberries to make one pound of wax. Unlike tallow candles, bayberry candles have a very pleasant smell.
Bayberry shrubs are native shrubs commonly found along the coastal plains from Maine to Delaware. Further south, a similar species of bush grows called the wax myrtle. The bayberry has small bluish-white berries which are often eaten by many species of birds. These shrubs are not tolerant of shade or pruning. In the woods or if pruned they tend to be much smaller. If you are interested in planting bayberry in your landscape, it is important to note that there are male and female shrubs (fruit on females).
We recently held a bayberry candle making program with the staff of the John Dickinson Plantation. This is an annual program and will be held again in the fall of 2011. We encourage you to participate in and enjoy future programs!