Please Support “Bike for Birds”

bike for birds largeFrom the time I purchased my bike in 2011 until today, every ride has been accompanied by birds and bird song.  The birds prompted me to begin Bike for Birds.  I am contacting you on their behalf.

This year, our seven-member “Team Bike for Birds” listed below is biking across North Carolina to support the important work of Audubon NC.  With the 2014 Bike for Birds ride just a few days away, we are asking you to make our effort even more worthwhile by contributing to Audubon North Carolina, whose work to conserve and restore habitats for all wildlife while focusing on the needs of birds is more important than ever.

Last week, National Audubon Society made headline news releasing the “Birds and Climate Change Report” based on 30 years of citizen science bird observations and climate data.  It projects that 314 of the 588 North American bird species studied are in danger of significant decline or extinction by 2080.  I have to wonder if future generations will be able to ride their bikes and enjoy bird songs as I have done.  This year I have either seen or heard 51 bird species on training rides – many of them are on this climate-threatened list.

Bike for Birds is my chance to help the birds living across the state who have enriched my life by raising money for Audubon NC in their work to protect birds and their habitats.  I hope you will join me by making a contribution to Audubon NC using the link below or sending a check to:  Audubon NC, 400 Silver Cedar Court, Suite 240, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 with a note that it is for Bike for Birds.

Kind regards,

Lena Gallitano
Raleigh, NC
Member of Audubon NC Board of TrusteesPlease support our Audubon NC Bike for Birds Team!
Jeff Birk, Jim Martin, Skip Stoddard, Gary Smith,
Heather Hahn, Penelope Foss & Lena Gallitano

Donate to Bike for Birds now through October 11th!

Carvers Creek State Park Field Trip: Saturday, October 25th

A Pearson Audubon Exploration Trip

carvers creek state park
Carvers Creek State Park

Carvers Creek is one of North Carolina’s newest state parks, and we thought it would be fun to take a Saturday to do some exploring there. The park, located in Spring Lake north of Fayetteville, consists of about 4,000 acres of longleaf pine forest, open fields, wetlands and a large millpond. The pine forests, of course, are home to the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Included in the park is Long Valley Farm, the former estate of James Stillman Rockefeller. In addition to preserving this disappearing ecosystem and early twentieth century history, the park also serves to buffer Ft. Bragg from development.

The park opened just last September and is operating with interim facilities. Two trails are open for walking, the James S. Rockefeller Trail and the Cypress Point Trail. The trails allow access to all the ecosystems in the park, as well as the historic summer home of James Rockefeller and the other buildings of his farm. Check out the park at www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/cacr

We plan to take the day to leisurely explore the park and its varied ecosystems. We will leave at 10:00 AM from our usual place in the Whole Foods parking lot between the Chick-fil-A and the BB&T Building, right along Friendly Avenue. The drive down is about an hour and a half, so we’ll have plenty of time to explore, have lunch and still be back by 5:00 PM or so.

Carvers Creek State Park
Carvers Creek State Park

Plan to bring your lunch and drinks as there are no eating facilities at the park. We will carpool from Greensboro, so a monetary contribution to the drivers to defray the costs of gas is appropriate. As always, children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. Bring your binoculars, scopes, and field guides, and dress for the weather. Also as always, if it is raining hard we will cancel; otherwise we will go.

As this is an all day trip, we would like to know who is planning to go. Please call or e-mail Jack Jezorek: 272-6664, suejackj@bellsouth.net to let us know you are coming along.

Blue Ridge Parkway Field Trip This Saturday

This is a reminder about the annual early autumn field trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway on the last weekend of this month, Saturday, September 27, sponsored by the Carolina Butterfly Society. T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society and CBS have done this trip together for several years, and we always see lots of birds and wildflowers, as well as butterflies.

This is near the peak of hawk migration along the Parkway, although CBS times the trip to coincide with the peak of Monarch butterfly migration. Since that species has been scarce this year, it will be interesting to see how many pass along the Parkway this coming Saturday. If the weather is as nice as we think it will be, we’re sure to see other butterflies, of course.

As in past years, we will meet at the Blue Ridge Music Center at Milepost 213 on the Parkway at 9:30 AM. This is on the Virginia side very close to the NC state line. We’ll explore the fields behind the center and then check out the nearby wet meadow. We usually stay there about an hour and a half to two hours, depending on how the butterflies are flying.

Once we’re ready to leave the music center, we will head southwest into North Carolina and make stops at likely-looking sites along the way. This will be free form; we have no set locations. Instead, we’ll look for patches of flowers. As in previous years, be sure to bring a picnic lunch and plenty of water to drink. We won’t be near stores or restaurants.

We never know what the weather will be like along the Parkway as we go through different elevations. You may want a jacket or sweater, especially during the morning hours. If it’s chilly, we’ll do some birding and look at wildflowers while waiting for the butterflies to warm up.

We usually have a good number of participants on this annual trip, but there are quite a few competing nature events this time of year. Consequently, please let me know if you plan to participate in the BRP trip.

– Dennis Burnette
Co-Chair, TGPAS
Email: deburnette@triad.rr.com

Race to the Top

Pilot Mountain State Park
Pilot Mountain State Park

No, we are not talking about improving public education, but an actual race to the top, of a mountain. Pilot Mountain that is, in Pilot Mountain State Park. A running race? No! A bike race? No! Actually, an auto race. On the state park roads.

You may have read about this a few weeks ago.  An auto club made a request to the NC legislature to “rent” the state park in order to hold a road rally. This meant closing the park, our park, to the public for at least a day, and making an exception to the 25 mph speed limit in the park. Preposterous right? No way our legislature would allow this. After all, the mission of NC state parks is to ” . . . conserve and protect representative examples . . . of the state’s natural heritage.” Actually, they would allow this. The NC General Assembly was all set to approve this request and to deny the public the use of its park, all in the name of “economic development”!

What happened? The people took exception to this inappropriate use of its park. The grass roots rose up and said “No way!” The legislature said nothing. But fortunately the auto club realized they were stepping hard on the public’s foot, and the club withdrew their request. Still no word from the legislature.

Why do I bring this to your attention? Simply as a reminder that we must be vigilant in protecting that natural heritage noted above, whether in state parks, national parks and forests or in our own local county and city parks and nature preserves. But surely something like this could not happen here in Guilford County, right? Again wrong. Several request have been made in the last couple years for inappropriate uses of our Guilford County Open Space preserves, many of which TGPAS has used for nature walks. So far the Open Space Committee has been able to point out to county staff that these natural areas exist primarily to preserve nature for the myriad benefits it provides, and these requests have been denied. So far. But you can bet that we will see more such requests in the future, and we all may need to rally around our natural heritage. Stay tuned. Be watchful.  – Jack Jezorek