Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We're Back

It has been a busy two weeks, but all of it away from our office at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest.

The first half of last week was spent at the National Conservation Training Center outside of Shepherdstown, WV along with other recipients of this year's TogetherGreen grants. As you may recall, we received a grant last year to study (Project PROTHO) the Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) in the old-growth, cypress-tupelo swamp that forms the core of the Francis Beidler Forest. As reported earlier on this blog, this year's grant will help fund the placement of nest boxes in areas of the swamp that have been degraded due to logging. Before the birds return in the spring, we will have had time to enter all of this year's data into our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and see if we can discern any patterns. We're excited that we will be able to continue documenting the story of Beidler Forest's Prothonotary Warblers!

The second half of the week included a soggy weekend of camping at the Flat Rock Music Festival in Flat Rock, NC. Belleville Outfit, Carrie Rodriguez, Rhythm Angels, and Lake Street Dive were all "must hears!" Early in the morning, before the bands started playing, Screech Owls, Pileated Woodpeckers, Carolina Wrens and a host of other songbirds helped us greet the light (though we didn't see the sun between Friday evening and late Sunday morning).

In between the trip to West Virginia and the trip to North Carolina, we were able to complete the iPhone Beidler Forest boardwalk app circuit by connecting the homepage all the way to the species' detail page. The screen shots below show that path beginning with "Tour" and ending with the Banded Water Snake (Nerodia fasciata fasciata). The second image shows the next screen on the path from "Information." Only the species of plants or animals that are likely to be seen from the 1.75-mile boardwalk will be included, so identification of a specimen will be made easier. All the information contained in the current guidebook will be included as well as additional "between the numbers" information. Once the app clears the Apple approval process, the app will be available to enhance (audio, video, images, maps, etc.) the experience for visiting school groups as well as all others with iPhone/iPod Touch technology.

Images by Mark Musselman

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