The STS trail maintainers are fast approaching the 1,000-hour mark, meaning over the last six and one-half months the trail crews have cared for the trails for nearly 1,000 hours.
Interestingly last year this mark was reached on May 1. Apparently with the virus thing happening, people decided rather than being cooped up they would rather spend their time out on the trails, which was said to be one of the safest places you could be. Social-distancing, virus-free air, great exercise, the trails offered it all.
And our club set a new record of more than 3,000 hours last year. We have long known that trees suck up carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, so maybe that’s a pretty good formula for healthy living. Those of us who live in rural areas can see and smell the difference. When we are in a town that is quite busy with heavy traffic, it actually stinks. And some are breathing that air 24/7 year around. Wow.
There is a disturbing trend of birds in Pennsylvania getting sick and dying. The experts do not yet know what is causing it, but they are asking people to take some precautions to hopefully help stop the spread.
Recommendations are to quit feeding the birds and clean the birdbath with a 10% bleach solution. Don’t handle any sick or dead birds without disposable gloves, and don’t let your pets near them either. I’m sure they are working diligently to find a cause and a cure.
This is a list of birds so far: blue jay, European starling, common grackle, American robin, American cardinal, house finch, house sparrow, eastern bluebird, red-bellied woodpecker, Carolina chickadee and Carolina wren. So far 27 Pennsylvania counties are affected, and Potter and Tioga are not among them. With the precautions maybe we can keep it that way.
The annual STC Camporee at Ole Bull State Park is the next event we are all looking forward to. This will be held Aug. 12-15, with six campsites set aside for our members — #44, 46, 49, 55, 56, 60. These sites are near the new bathhouse and swimming area.
Our dinner and meeting will be on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. in the main pavilion. We were entertained briefly last year by a beautiful black-phase rattler and a black bear. The snake was promptly transported by park personnel to a place where he would cause less concern. And the bear... well, it was by mutual agreement that we don’t bother him and he doesn’t bother us.