Monday, October 24, 2011

Naturalist Corner: Eastern Box Turtles

Box Turtles have unique markings and pigmentations on the bottoms of their shells.

Have you seen me?

We are interested in collecting information regarding our resident box turtle here at the park. If you encounter a box turtle while walking the trails please bring it back to the nature center. *Please make sure you keep track of where you found the turtle. Nature Center Staff will take a photograph of the turtles shell and make notes regarding the individual turtles physical characteristics i.e.: eye color, the color of their head & front legs, the markings on the underside of their shell, and then return the turtle to where they were found. We are also able to estimate the age of the turtle by counting the growth rings on the top of their shell.

For More Information on our upcoming nature programs please visit the following link:
Nature Rocks Flyer which will direct you to a list our upcoming Fall Programs.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wildlife Sighting Log:

White Lined Sphinx Moth

We are interested in hearing from you!

10/21/2011: Barred Owl                           reported by: Jason, John, Mike, Allise Guglielmone
10/21/2011: two White Tail Deer                                  John Guglielmone
10/20/2011: Bald Eagle calling                                      Susan Matthews
10/19/2011: two Does at Nature Center                        Susan Matthews
                    entrance, cicada calling, morning
                    dove, Canadian Geese in flight,
                    Red-tailed Hawk soaring and calling,
                    Ground Hog
10/15/2011: I saw a beaver                                              Jason Silva
10/15/2011: Chickadee at the feeders, Ground               Susan Matthews
                    Hog, Buckeye Butterfly, Cabbage
                    White, Crayfish, Wooley Bear Catterpillar,
                    2 Belted Kingfisher, 12 mostly male Woodducks,
                    Eastern Box Turtle (young male ~10 years old)
10/15/2011: Kestrel                                                          Joshua Nolen
10/8/2011:   two Black Vultures on roof of                        Caryn Code
                    Spring House
9/30/2011:   six Wild Turkeys off Sumantown Road,        Spring Ligi
                    Praying Mantis on Green Roof

If you saw and/or photographed a plant or animal during your visit to Catoctin Creek Nature Center we would love to hear from you. Please call us at #301-600-2050 or email

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Naturalist Corner: Fall Colors

Why do leaves change color in the fall?
Leaves are “food factories” where the plants energy is produced. Plants take in sunlight and produce their own energy through the process of photosynthesis where they take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen and glucose. As the days get shorter in the Fall and Winter there is in turn less sunlight available to fuel this process. As the Trees begin to prepare for the winter they stop producing chlorophyll (a green pigment involved in photosynthesis). In turn the underlying pigments shades of yellow and orange colors begin to appear.

What conditions produce the brightest fall leaf colors?
A mild wet spring, average rainfall in the summer, warm sunny fall days with cool nights normally produce the most vivid autumn colors.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Upcoming October Programs

During this parent/child group your child will learn about nature through stories, games and hands-on crafts. We will focus on turn-taking with peers, imitating actions to songs during circle time, following directions in a group setting and having fun with friends. Our daily schedule includes free play, circle/story time, movement, and a simple craft. This inclusive group is taught Toddlers Program. Parents will stay in class with their child.

24-30 months/ 6 Mondays/ $30
Mon, 10/17-Mon, 11/21 10am-11am

Discover what’s going on in the woods and fields around Catoctin Creek. We’ll take a stroll along one of the park’s trails exploring and enjoying being in the outdoors!

All ages/ 1 day/ $12
13502 Sun, 10/23 2pm-3:30pm

Halloween is coming and who doesn’t like to dress up for it? Wear a costume and come learn about some animals that seem pretty spooky at first…until you know more about them. Touch a toad, sing to a salamander, and meet some of our other creepy critters. After we learn about some animals, we will take a hike along the paved paths so everyone can enjoy a parade!

All ages/ 1 day/ $12
13507 Sat, 10/29 10am-11:30am

Being lost in the wilderness is not an option for great leaders. You should always know how to get where you want to go, and more importantly how to return to civilization. This 3-hour program will teach you the basics of how to read a map and use a compass. Refine your skills as we hike around the park.

12+ yrs/ 1 day
Individual/ $30
14139 Sat, 10/29 1pm-4pm
Adult and minor pair/ $50
14140 Sat, 10/29 1pm-4pm

Friday, October 14, 2011

Upcoming Programs

Please come out this Sunday Oct 16th at 2pm to hear guest lecture Judith Spanomanolis Director of the Trego Mountain Sanctuary speak about our native raptor species. Trego Mountain Sanctuary's mission is to promote the preservation of natural ecosystems through public education and through rescue, rehabilitation, and release of Maryland wildlife into its natural habitat.

This program was made possible by the Frederick County Nature Council. The Frederick County Nature Council mission: is to provide support and advocacy for Catoctin Creek & Fountain Rock Nature Centers and the citizens of Frederick County. For more information on how you can become involved with the Nature Council please contact: .

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NEW: Wildlife Sighting Log

NEW: Wildlife Sighting Log


Did you see any wildlife during your visit to Catoctin Creek Park or the surrounding area? If so then you can record your sightings at the Host desk inside the nature center. Some of the recent sightings in and around the park:

9/21/2011 : Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfishers chased by Cooper’s Hawk, Eastern Phoebe, Re-bellied woodpecker, American Goldfinch, House Finch, Ruby Throated Hummingbird.

9/22/2011: Northern Harrier soaring above the agricultural fields off Old Middletown Road

9/28/2011: Black rat snake; Red-tailed Hawk soaring above & calling

9/29/2011: Northern Flicker, Blue Jay (near the park entrance)

9/30/2011: Praying Mantis on the Green Roof

9/30/2011: Wild turkeys off of Sumantown Road

10/2/2011: Eastern Phoebe and Northern Flicker

If you saw and/or photographed a plant or animal during your visit to Catoctin Creek Nature Center we would love to hear from you. Please give us a call at #301-600-2050 or e-mail your sightings & photos to:

We are interested in hearing from you!