The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 10, 2013

Bob Garrett's Talking Points column: Keeping watch on weather


Daily Item

---- — "Onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in."

At times it seems as if weather watching is the main past-time for sportsmen. Each of us has memorized some "ditty" or rhyme to use in predicting the weather. My favorite is "red sky at night sailors delight -- red sky in the morning sailors take warning."

A hunting partner of mine predicted that we would have a mild winter this year because the deer that he shot this fall had very little fat. If you think that you would like to develop the hobby of weather watching, here are hints to help get you started: The Weather Channel gives an up-to-the-minute forecast six times an hour with real-time weather maps. If you don't want to wait to see the local weather map on the Weather Channel, you may log onto: www.weather.com. This site offers a gold mine for the weather enthusiast.

Up-to-the-minute satellite images are available on demand, as well as the current temperature, including the heat index/wind chill and even a pollen count for the day. I like to go outside and check my own gauges to see if the website is broadcasting the correct information. Becoming an amateur weather photographer is another way to develop your weather hobby. You can upload your weather pictures from your digital camera right onto The Daily Item's website. You can display your fabulous pictures of lightning, approaching storms, snow and the effects of wind as though they were your personal badges of courage. By expanding and developing your weather watching hobby you will experience great entertainment that will get you out of doors while building a better understanding of our natural world.

Time to get ready to fish: The R.B. Winter Chapter of Trout Unlimited will meet next Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the Towne Tavern Shanty in Lewisburg. Jonathan Niles will discuss stream assessments on Buffalo Creek, Middle Creek, Penns Creek and the White Deer Creek as well as others in Lycoming and Sullivan counties. A meal will be served at 6 p.m. with the meeting following at 7. The fly-tying class sponsored by the chapter kicks off on Monday night, Jan. 14, with a presentation about aquatic invertebrates. Everyone will get right into fly-tying by learning about tools and thread tension while whipping up a "Walt's Worm" fly.

Give Bob Laubach a call at 966-3379 to register for the class. By the way, if you happen to have an extra buck tail lying around, please consider donating it for use by the fly-tyers.

Winter fun: Winter Trails Day will be celebrated at the R.B. Winter State Park this Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. This celebration will consist of an expert-led snowshoe nature walk and you may borrow snowshoes from the park or bring along your own. After everyone gets the basics of snowshoeing there will be an easy hike through the woods. Don't worry if it gets too warm and the snow melts because the hike is still on, everyone will just wear boots instead of snowshoes.

Next Thursday, Jan. 17, there will be a presentation on owls and owl pellets. This program is geared for kids between age 8 and 13. Pre-registration to borrow snowshoes for the hike and for the owl presentation is required by calling 966-1455.

Pheasant propagation: Did you know that the first recorded attempts to establish pheasants in America was back in the mid-1700s? The Pennsylvania Game Commission has been stocking these birds in our state since 1915. Susquehanna Valley sportsman's organizations with approved propagation facilities can assist with these local ring-necked pheasant stockings by raising day-old pheasant chicks supplied free-of-charge by the game commission. This is a great opportunity for these sportsmen to partner with youth organizations such as the 4H or the Boy Scouts or the Girl Scouts. More information and applications to participate may be downloaded from the commission's website: www.pgc.state.pa.us. Completed applications must be received by March 31st.

Sportsmen's Shows: 'Tis the season: This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, the Outdoor Travel Show is at the Warren Mall in Warren County. Also, this weekend the RV and Campground Show is going on at the Allentown Fairgrounds. Things really get rolling with the Early Bird Outdoor Show at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds scheduled from Jan. 24-27. The "Big One," the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show with its hundreds of vendors and dozens of presenters will be at the Farm Show Building in Harrisburg from Feb. 2 through 10. Following right after this show is our own Valley show, the Cabin Fever Outdoor Show that will be held in Mifflinburg on Feb. 23 and 24.