"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree." -Emily Bronte
Next Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., homeschoolers are invited to a workshop that is being hosted by the R.B. Winter State Park staff titled: "Capturing Nature."
The principles of outdoor photography and the workings and science behind photography will be covered during the workshop. This event is for fifth through seventh grade students.
Pre-registration is required by calling the park office at (570) 966-1455. Students should bring along a shoebox for making a pinhole camera, a digital camera and a fresh memory card.
The fun and learning for homeschooled students continues the next day, October 10, with an event for third through eighth graders called "Predators and their Prey."
This is a hands-on learning session that will look into food chains and food webs. Activities begin at 10 a.m. and should wrap up by 1:30 p.m.
Please pre-register by calling the park office by October 8.
The colonial crafts of candle making and butter churning will be demonstrated at the Halfway Run Environmental Learning Center on October 18.
"Raptors in the Rafters," is the name of the workshop for homeschooled students that will be held on October 23. This will be an owl and hawk learning activity that is suitable for students who are over the age of 10.
On Halloween, "Skull Duggery" will the theme of a 10 a.m. program. Students ages 9 and up will explore real skulls, make scary jack-o-lanterns and learn about swooping bats and creepy spiders.
Please make sure to call the park office at least a week before any of the events that you may want to attend to pre-register.
n Archery opens
We're at "T minus two days" until Pennsylvania's statewide archery deer season opens.
Starting at sunrise on Saturday, archers will be hunting throughout our state for antlered or antlerless deer. This "early season" runs through November 16. The late statewide archery deer season re-opens the day after Christmas and runs through January 11, 2014.
Archery hunters will be using long, recurve or compound bows or a crossbow.
To insure a clean kill, bows must have a draw weight of at least 35 pounds while crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of at least 125 pounds.
n Fall family fun
Is your family looking for a fun frolic this fall? If so, you may want to head down to the Ned Smith Center for a "harvest of autumn family fun frolic-ing" next Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.
This annual event just keeps getting better and better each year. The idea is to increase awareness of the natural world with many activities for children and families, including live animal presentations.
Fall frolic-ers can also get their faces painted, visit the pumpkin patch, create a fall decoration at the "Art Creation Station" or try their skills at a round of Pumpkin Bowling and children's train rides.
There's even some learning-disguised-as-fun events such as "Honey Bees and Pollinators" and "The Bug Man," with his hands-on program that involves real, live insects.
Admission for the entire event is only $5 for ages 2 and up, with a family four pack of tickets available for $15.
The Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art is located at 176 Water Company Road in Millersburg.
Family Fall Fun Day is sponsored by the M&T Bank and more information is available at www.nedsmithcenter.org or by calling 717-692-3699.
n Whitewater weekends
Whitewater enthusiasts eagerly wait for this time of year when water is released from flood control dams greatly increasing the water levels downstream. The U.S. Corps of Engineers announced that a big dam release will occur on the Lehigh River during the weekend of October 12 and 13.
On the Gauley River in West Virginia, releases are scheduled for the next few weekends, culminating the weekend of October 19 for the annual New River Bridge Day.