Birding and Nature Photography Week 2012

For the week of August 17th -26th
 
Friday August 17
 
5pm - Upper Falls Nature Walk with Skytop Naturalists Rick Koval and Jackie Speicher
Enjoy a pre-dinner appetizer of nature with Rick and Jackie on an easy and enjoyable hike along the scenic Upper Falls Trail.  Your senses will be invigorated by the sights, sounds, smells and even tastes of the Poconos.  As an added bonus, Rick will demonstrate his "fire ball" display from the use of a common forest plant.  Allow 1 hour.
Call to reserve a seat on the van.
 
830 pm-   Introduction of Naturalists
Welcome guests and friends to Skytop Lodge's Birding and Nature Photography Week, followed by a brief introduction of our team of naturalists who will certainly make your stay enjoyable, adventurous and informative. 
 
840pm - "The Hidden Treasures of Skytop Lodge” by Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval
Skytop Lodge is known for its fine dining, fabulous accommodations and tranquil settings, all nestled within the Pocono Mountains.   Rick's program takes you on an adventure into Skytop's remote forests, clear mountain brooks, cascading waterfalls, pristine lakes, blueberry swamps and glacial bogs. Aside from the recognizable Pocono icons- whitetail deer, wild turkey and black bear, there's  a plethora of rarely seen, yet photographed, uncommon plants and animals thriving at Skytop Lodge.  Rick's PowerPoint program unveils these hidden treasures.  
 
Saturday, August 18
 
6am - Sunrise at the West Mountain Overlook with Jim Hoyson and Bruce Troy
Capture the morning sunrise with nature photographers Jim and Bruce as they take you up on West Rim Trail to our fabulous scenic overlook. This beautiful vista offers an amazing opportunity to photograph the early morning sunrise as it ascends upon the Pocono Plateau as well as picturesque settings of Skytop Lake and Skytop Lodge.  Jim and Bruce will offer technical support and digital photography techniques used to capture photos of vivid sunrises and scenic vistas.  Allow 90 minutes.
Transportation will be provided up to the overlook. Call to reserve a seat on the van.
 
10am-  Digital Photography Workshop- "Basics and Beyond" by Jim Hoyson
Don't miss the chance to learn the basis of digital photography and beyond. Jim's program is an informative introduction to digital photography that explains the basic fundamentals as well as advanced techniques and applications. Jim will offer a "show and tell" display of the various types of digital camera equipment including a camera lens, tripods and accessories. Allow 90 minutes.
Meet at the Laurel Lounge
 
2pm – Waterfall Photography at the Indian Ladder Falls with Jim Hoyson and Bruce Troy
Learn how to freeze the motion of a waterfall and compose the perfect shot with the help and guidance of Jim and Bruce. Our guest nature photographers will drive you right to the base of the spectacular Indiana Ladder Falls. Bring your camera along and turn turbulent falls into flowing waves of buttermilk for added special effects.  Allow 1.5 hours.
Transportation will be provided. Call to reserve a seat on the van.
 
5pm - Live Reptiles and Amphibians by Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval
Get up close and personal with Rick 's collection of local snakes, frogs, salamanders and even a turtle. Learn about these fascinating reptiles and amphibians and their role in the Pocono environment.  Fun for everyone, including Rick's critters as some will eat tasty tidbits right before your eyes. Kids wanted! Make sure to bring a camera. Allow 1 hour
Meet at the Laurel Room. 
 
830pm - Night Hike with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
We'll pierce through the darkness along the trail and use our PETZL headlamps to explore “the things that go bump in the night.” 
Allow 90 minutes.
Meet at the North Porch
 
Sunday, August 19
 
8am - Wildflowers and Wildlife Photography Safari with Jim Hoyson and Bruce Troy
Join Jim and Bruce along the Alternate Trout Stream Trail in search of a variety of natural subjects in which to photograph. We'll test our creative skills by taking pictures of meandering brooks, towering trees, vivid wildflowers and colorful salamanders.
Allow 90 minutes.
Transportation will be provided up to the overlook. Call to reserve a seat on the van.
 
10am-  Macro-photography- "Up-close and Personal" by Bruce Troy
Focus in-depth during Bruce's macro-photography workshop that takes digital photography to another world. Bruce will discuss the concepts of macro-photography and illustrate how to photograph the tiniest subjects and transform them into razor-sharp images. See things like you have never seen before.  Allow 90 minutes.
Meet at the Laurel Lounge
 
2pm– Garden Stroll - Bugs, Butterflies & Blossoms with  Bruce Troy and Jim Hoyson
Join Bruce and Jim on a nature photography stroll inside Skytop's showcase flower gardens and see how the experts capture beauty on digital cameras. Learn how to compose and shoot vivid landscape settings and practice how to zoom-in on nectaring bumblebees and colorful butterflies. Allow 1 hour. Meet at the North Porch
 
6pm Nature Hike at the Rhododendron Swamp Trail with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Explore what lurks along the Rhododendron Swamp Trail with Jackie on an easy nature hike. We'll venture along the base of West Mountain and along the perimeter of the Rhododendron Swamp. Birds, bugs, frogs and newts are some of the inhabitants found on this popular hiking trail. Allow 1 hour. Meet at the North Porch
 
830pm - Stargazing with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
There are more than ten-thousand stars in the night sky that we can see with the naked eye. Join us for the evening, and we will look at just a few of them. Allow 1 hour. Meet at the North Porch and bring your binoculars. 
 
Monday, August 20
 
6am- Early Morning Bird Walk with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Here's your chance enjoy enhance your birding skills with the help and guidance of Jackie. We'll take an easy stroll along Skytop Lodge and scan the tree tops with binoculars for colorful songbirds, identify their melodious songs and perhaps see a bald eagle soaring overhead. Allow 1 hour. Binoculars will be provided upon request. Meet at the North Porch.   
 
10am-  Turtle Trapping with Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval.
Help Rick check his aquatic turtle traps and see what has entered his baited nets. You will have the opportunity to identify, handle and create a permanent identification mark on each collected turtle.  Before we release the turtles back into the wetlands and lake, we'll  make sure you take some photos of these remarkable reptiles. Allow 90 minutes. Meet at the North Porch
 
2pm– Nature by Boat with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Take an afternoon water sojourn along the shores of Skytop Lake. Bring binoculars and we will investigate our environment as we gently glide along. Allow 90 minutes.
Meet at the North Porch.
 
830pm- Making props for “The Lorax” with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
We will use paint, cardboard, tape and markers to create the props and costumes for our production of ‘The Lorax.’ We need all the help we can get. All ages welcome. Youngsters, please bring a parent or adult to help. Allow 1 hour.
Meet in the Laurel Room
 
830pm- Live Mammals with Kathy Uhler
Don't this entertaining program presented by Kathy Uhler from the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Kathy will have on display a variety of rehabilitated animals used for outreach and education. In the past, such lovable animals included hawks, owls, opossum, skunk and other surprises. Allow 90 minutes.
Meet in the Laurel Room
 
Tuesday, August 21
 
6am - Bird Mist Netting Program by Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Mist netting and birds – Why do we study birds? Because they are everywhere, they are beautiful, and they have a lot to teach us about our environment and its stressors. Join us for a morning of mist-netting, and we will look at some birds up close and talk of the things we have learned through bird research, and the many things we have yet to uncover. Allow 90 minutes.  Meet at the North Porch
 
10am- Edible Plant Walk with Naturalist Stan Galenty and Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval
Hungry for some wild greens or a trail-side nibble? Let's venture along Skytop Lake with Stan and Rick in search of wild edible plants. The tandem of woodland survivalists will identify dozens of species which are safe to eat as well as a few poisonous plants. Smell, feel and taste a part of nature and learn which wild plants are used to make teas, cooked vegetables, jellies, wines and even pancake flour. Allow 2 hours
Meet at the North Porch
 
2pm – “The Lorax” with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Join us for a wonderful rendition of Dr. Seuss’, The Lorax. With our narrator reading from the original work, the actors will portray all of the characters and there will be audience participation, too. Come with us to the far end of town where the grickle grass grows. Everyone is welcome to attend. Allow 1 hour.
Meet in the Laurel Room
 
5pm - Dragonflies and Damselflies with Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval
Learn about the many types of dazzling dragonflies and dainty damselflies that inhabit Skytop Lake. Rick will capture and identify these colorful flying tigers and dispel the myths as well as confirm the benefits of these harmless creatures. You will have the chance to hold a dragonfly and admire its vivid colors and view the brilliant eyes of a damselfly with a magnifying glass. Allow 1 hour
Meet at the North Porch
 
830pm - Deer Spotting and Nighttime Safari with Skytop Naturalists Rick Koval and Jackie Speicher
Armed with powerful spotlights, we'll scan the nighttime horizon throughout Skytop Lodge in search of whitetail deer and other nocturnal mammals. This is a fun and exciting evening adventure. Allow 90 minutes.
 Call to reserve a seat on the van
 
Wednesday, August 22
 
6am- Early Morning Bird Walk with Skytop Naturalists Rick Koval and Jackie Speicher
Don't miss the opportunity with Rick and Jackie to see and hears birds of the scrub oak barrens. We'll drive up to Campbell's View and listen for the calls of rufous-sided towhees, prairie warblers, scarlet tanagers, field sparrows and perhaps the rare golden-winged warbler. Expect to see a rainbow of colored feathers . Allow 1 hour.
Binoculars will be provided upon request. Meet at the North Porch.   
 
930am-- Live Animal Trapping with Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval
Dare to wear a mouse? If so, join Rick on the trap line to check his carefully place live traps targeting small mammals such as boreal red-backed voles, deer mice, chipmunks and perhaps a shrew. Lucky volunteers might be asked to momentarily wear a harmless mouse on the top of their head. Hopping with action and furry fun, so bring a camera. Allow 90 minutes.
Meet at the North Porch
 
2pm- Making & Tasting Teas from Wild Plants with Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval and Stan Galenty
Learn how to make teas and cold sweet beverages from wild plants found throughout the Skytop Lodge and the Poconos. Stan and Rick will demonstrate how to make unique teas and drinks from wild plants such as Peppermint, Teaberry, Labrador Tea, New Jersey Tea, Sweet Fern as well as their favorite -"Pocono Sumac Tea" which tastes like pink lemonade. During this hands-on program you can taste your wild concoctions and sample other tasty varieties.  
Allow 60 minutes. Meet at the Laurel Lounge
 
 
6pm - Nest Boxes with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Placing a nest box along the golf course ensures that while the golfers enjoy their game, our newest rooms will be occupied. Let’s take a look at the boxes and see what is happening with the eastern bluebirds and tree swallows of Skytop. Be sure to take home some nest box building plans. Allow 90 minutes.
Meet at the North Porch
 
830pm - "How to Find Owls, for Those Who Give a Hoot" by Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval
"Owls," we hear them but how often do we see them? Rick's educational PowerPoint program illustrates his best techniques on how to find the "hooters of the night." You will learn where owls hide during the daytime and find nature's clues which may lead you to a face to face encounter with a wide-eyed owl. Allow 1 hour.
Meet at the Laurel Lounge
 
 
Thursday, August 23
 
6am- Early Morning Bird Walk with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Here's your chance to enhance your birding skills with the help and guidance of Jackie. We'll take an easy stroll along the Lodge and scan the tree tops with binoculars for colorful songbirds, identify their melodious songs and perhaps see a bald eagle soaring overhead. Allow 1 hour.
Binoculars will be provided upon request. Meet at the North Porch.   
 
10am- Kids Scavenger Hunt with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
How many times have you walked along the trail and noticed the small red feather, or a round stone? Join in on this scavenger hunt nature walk. We will look for all of the things on our list, and more. Bring home some memories and a few surprises. Allow 1 hour. Meet at the North Porch
 
2pm – Mushroom Walk with David Wasilewski
Mushrooms are one of the most fascinating and intriguing groups of organisms on earth. Regional mushroom expert, Dave Wasilewski lead a fungi foray along the trails at Skytop Lodge. Dave will identify a variety of edible species and clearly point out the poisonous varieties. Bring a notepad and camera and meet some fungi with a fun guy. Allow 90 minutes.
Call to reserve a seat on the van.
 
6pm - “The Lorax” with  Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Join us for a wonderful rendition of Dr. Seuss’, The Lorax. With our narrator reading from the original work, the actors will portray all of the characters and there will be audience participation, too. Come with us to the far end of town where the grickle grass grows. Everyone is welcome to attend. Allow 1 hour.
Meet at the Laurel Lounge
 
830pm- Camouflage & Mimicry; What You See Isn't Always What You See!"  by Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval
So you think you have a keen eye? Maybe not. Learn and see how animals of the Poconos use camouflage and mimicry in order to survive. Rick's PowerPoint program illustrates fascinating examples of animals using concealment, illusion and impersonation.
 This fun program is audience interactive along with a "camo quiz" that will certainly test your visual acuity. Allow 1 hour.
Meet at the laurel lounge
 
Friday, August 24
 
6am - Bird Mist Netting Program by Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Mist netting and birds – Why do we study birds? Because they are everywhere, they are beautiful, and they have a lot to teach us about our environment and its stressors. Join us for a morning of mist-netting, and we will look at some birds up close and talk of the things we have learned through bird research, and the many things we have yet to uncover. Allow 90 minutes.
 Meet at the North Porch
 
10am-  Salamander Safari and Frog Fest with Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval
Let's get our feet wet (at least Rick will) as we adventure along these spring seeps and Leavitt Branch Creek in search of slippery salamanders, jumping frogs and even harmless snakes. Rick will capture and show you how to identify stream salamanders as well as frogs, tadpoles and snakes. Allow 90 minutes. 
Call to reserve a seat on the van.
 
2pm– Medicinal Plant Walk with Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval
Join Skytop naturalist Rick Koval on a medicinal plant foray along the beautiful Leavitt Falls Trail. Rick will identify various types of medicinal plants and explain the modern day uses and health benefits as well as illustrating poisonous species and centuries old "folk lore." Rick will also point out several species of plants found at Skytop Lodge which are still used as aspirin, in heart medicines and anti-cancer drugs.  As an added bonus, Rick will demonstrate his "fire ball" display from the use of a common forest plant.
Allow 90 minutes.
Call to reserve a ride in the van.
 
6pm  Nature Journal with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Want to record all of your findings? Create a list of animals seen, or maybe a drawing of a salamander. Join in on this program, and we will uncover the art of nature. Allow 1 hour.
 Meet at the Laurel Lounge
 
830pm - Stargazing with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
There are more than ten-thousand stars in the night sky that we can see with the naked eye. Join us for the evening, and we will look at just a few of them. Allow 1 hour.
Meet at the North Porch and bring your binoculars. 
 
Saturday, August 25
 
6am - Sunrise Photography at Campbell's View with Jim Hoyson and Rick Koval
Spend the early morning with Jim and Rick venture up to the scenic Campbell's View to photograph the early morning sunrise as it ascends upon the Pocono Plateau. Jim and Rick will offer technical support as well as their own personal digital photography techniques used to capture photos of vivid sunrises and scenic vistas.  Allow 90 minutes.
Transportation will be provided up to the overlook. Call to reserve a set on the van.
 
10am- Digital Camera Equipment- "Basics and Beyond" by Jim Hoyson
Don't miss the chance to learn the basis of digital photography and beyond. Jim's program is an informative introduction to digital photography that explains the basic fundamentals of digital photography as well as advanced techniques and applications. You will also have a better understanding about digital camera equipment including a variety of camera lens, tripods and accessories.
Allow 90 minutes..
Meet at the Laurel Lounge
 
2pm – Waterfall Photography at the Indian Ladder Falls with Jim Hoyson
Learn how to freeze the motion of a waterfall and compose the perfect setting with the help and guidance of Jim and Bruce. Our guest nature photographers will drive you right to the base of the spectacular Indiana Ladder Falls. Bring your camera along and turn turbulent falls into buttermilk for special effect. Allow 90 minutes.
Transportation will be provided. Call to reserve a seat on the van.
 
5pm-Afternoon Hike with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
Wear sturdy boots or hiking shoes for this short (one-mile) but fairly rugged round-trip into the "Devil's Hole" ravine where there are several beautiful waterfalls, huge trees, and lots of evergreen, rhododendron & hemlock.  Here is a great chance to practice your photography skills.
Meet on the North Porch.

830pm - Live Reptiles and Amphibians by Skytop Naturalist Rick Koval
Get up close and personal with Rick 's collection of snakes, frogs, salamanders and even a turtle amphibians that reside in the Poconos. Learn about these fascinating reptiles and amphibians and their role in the environment. Fun for everyone, including Rick's critters as some will eat tasty tidbits right before your eyes. Kids wanted and make sure to bring a camera. Allow 1 hour
Meet at the Laurel Room. 
 
 
Sunday August 26,
 
730am - Wildflowers and Wildlife Photography Safari with Jim Hoyson
Join Jim along the Alternate Trout Stream Trail in search of a variety of natural subjects in which to photograph. We'll test our creative skills on meandering brooks, towering trees, vivid wildflowers and colorful salamanders.
Allow 1 hour.
Call to reserve a seat on the van.
 
1030am- Photoshop Fundamentals- by Jim Hoyson
So you took some pictures, now what? Jim's program explains the concepts of Photoshop and how to download, improve, sharpen, name and file your precious images that were stored on your camera card. A PowerPoint program will demonstrate and illustrated the proper and simple uses of PowerPoint.
Allow 90 minutes.
Meet at the Laurel Lounge
 
6pm Nature Hike at the Rhododendron Swamp Trail with Jackie Speicher
Explore what lurks along the Rhododendron Swamp Trail with Jackie on an easy nature hike. We'll venture along the base of West Mountain and along the perimeter of the Rhododendron Swamp. Birds, bugs, frogs and newts are some of the inhabitants found on this popular hiking trail. Allow 1 hour.
Meet at the North Porch
 
830pm - Stargazing with Skytop Naturalist Jackie Speicher
There are more than ten-thousand stars in the night sky that we can see with the naked eye. Join us for the evening, and we will look at just a few of them. Allow 1 hour.
Meet at the North Porch and bring your binoculars.