Humming birds, Fire starters, Emerald ash borers

FOW History - The Wayback Machine
Source: First FOW Newsletter; April 2002.
Volunteer Corner—Fire Starters were provided by Jim and Mary Wolfgram to the Friends of Wyalusing for fund raising. Three hundred eight dollars has been raised. Thanks for your contribution Jim and Mary!
Making Fire St
arters by Jim Wolfgram
First I cover my pic
nic table to protect it from any spilled wax. Next I use paper egg cartons and remove the tops and flap. Plastic cartons smoke and the smell isn’t good for you. Then I fill the egg pockets halfway with dry sawdust. Meanwhile the wax is heating on my camp stove. When the wax is hot enough, I pour it on to the sawdust in the egg cartons. Wax this hot can flame up very easily. I use either a soup ladle or old coffee pot. The hot wax will just foam up as it is poured into the sawdust. After I’ve got about 20 or so cartons with sawdust and wax in them, I put more sawdust in to fill the pockets level full and more hot wax. After this second filling, I leave them to cool for a few days and then I cut the individual sections apart with a band saw. A band saw is much faster and neater than a knife. I use any kind or color of wax except wax that has insect repellent in it. I’ve taught Boy Scouts how to make numerous different kinds of fire starters but I like this one the best. Once again the wax must be very very hot to work properly or it will not penetrate the pockets of sawdust. I also have a cover handy to put over the wax as it is melting in case it ignites accidentally.

Did you remember?

Happenings in the Park

Saturday, September 27
Time: To be announced
Join characters from Wyalusing's illustrious history along a luminary
lit trail. Sponsored by the Friends of Wyalusing State Park. Make your
campsite reservation now.
State parks ban some firewood to stop invasive beetle (More....)

You saw it here first! The first UNOFFICIAL insignia. Maybe there should also be a blue-green emerald ash borer. What do you think. Use the Comment section, found at the bottom of this blog, to voice your thoughts.

Hummingbirds aplenty at Wyalusing
Reprinted from The Courier Press, 8/13/2008

August is peak time for viewing colorful, little hummers.
This popular feeder at Wyalusing State Park is drained about every three hours. An adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbird hovers near the office building Thursday. No matter how often one sees them, hummingbirds are fascinating, and right now is the peak time for observing hummingbirds in Southwestern Wisconsin."
"There is not a person who does not comment on those birds," said Bev Pozega, who estimates that there are about 50 hummers at the office at Wyalusing State Park. "People love to look at them and take pictures."
Pozega, who works at Wyalusing State Park, has had an enthusiasm for hummingbirds since she can remember and has put out feeders at the Wyalusing office for at least 15 years.
"They go through two or three gallons of food a day," she said, noting that one popular feeder hanging from the corner of the building is drained every three hours.
Pozega uses four cups of water for every one cup of sugar to make the feeding solution. She then boils it and refrigerates it.
Pozega said that the hummers go back and forth between a nice group of roadside flowers near the office building and the feeders. They also perch in nearby small trees at times.
"It’s just unbelievable how many there are," said Pozega, who noted that the best times to see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds is in the early morning and in the evening. Rainy and cloudy days are the best, she said.
"It’s just crazy what a little bird can do to a person," said Pozega, "whether its a small child or a big, burly biker."
Pozega said that the hummingbirds put a smile on everyone’s face and park visitors don’t mind waiting in line for stickers and such. "Often, we’ll be talking to them and then we realize that they’re not even listening, they’re so engaged with the birds," she said.

"Some people have never seen a hummingbird in their life." "I do it [put out feeders] for myself and for the people," said Pozega. "It’s just my little part of showing people what they’re all about."
A tip for homeowners, Pozega said, is to put out several feeders and have them close together. That is a key to attracting more hummingbirds.
The hummers show up around May 1 and stay until mid-September. She said that a person should keep the feeders out until they haven’t seen a hummingbird for at least two weeks. Pozega said that hummingbirds are not seen as often from late June through early July because they are in the process of having and caring for their young. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds lay jellybean-sized eggs and raise two young at a time. Pozega said that the adults feed spiders and insects to the young.
Hummingbirds are known to migrate great distances and are annual visitors to Wisconsin. There are four species of hummingbirds that have been sighted and documented in the state. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the most commonly sighted species in Southwestern Wisconsin.
The Rufous Hummingbird is also commonly seen in the state. Anna’s Hummingbird and the Green Violet-ear Hummingbird are considered "accidental" visitors, according to Hummingbirds in Wisconsin by Deborah Anderson. Accidental species means that they have been documented less than three times and are out of what is considered their normal range.
The hummingbirds at Wyalusing are adult male, adult female and juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.
The bright, iridescent colors, along with the zooming, zipping, darting, stopping, hovering and backing up make for quite an interesting aerial display.

Blurbs from Publications
Aztalan State Park
Word about remarkable Aztalan is spreading!
Increasingly the park is becoming a destination for group bus tours from all over the country. Groups from The Archaeological Conservancy (membership 27,000 ) of Santa Fe, New Mexico are now yearly visitors. A large group stopped here on My 22nd as part of group of tour of famous archaeological sites in the Upper Midwest.
The Wisconsin National Resources Foundation sponsored two tours of the park for their members and others on June 30. DNR archaeologist Mark Dudzik joined the tour groups to explain the importance of the site and future plans for development of a visitor's center Tours

Friends Activities
Lots to discuss at next meeting: September 8, 2008, 6:30 P.M.
Plans for Spirit Night...
Are you coming to the meeting? RSVP?

Star Splitter Sparkles (news)
The Starsplitters of Wyalusing State Park present astronomy programs on
the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month through October. Program times
will vary each month as the days get shorter. Please contact the park
office at 608-996-2261.