Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Greetings & Winter Break Fun

Our Log Cabin Holiday and The Night Tree programs have been a big hit this week! Education Program Specialist Bev Walborn reported that a squirrel was up on the Log Cabin railing early this morning selecting a seed-coated, orange slice prepared and hung on the tree by the children attending yesterday's Log Cabin programs. He had moved his feast under the tree when we went back out to snap the photo below, right. That's him to the right of the tree trunk.
As we wrap up the Log Cabin programs today, we wish each of you a joyous holiday season with your family. Remember that the Center will be closed Christmas Day, but we'll have lots of fun on tap in the days that follow, including special Winter Break Planetarium Programs on December 26, 27 and 28 and an extra telescope night on the 29th. Hope to see you at the Center before or after Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

American Coot released!

The coot was released Monday, December 10, 2007. The bird had regained its waterproofing and its feathers were in great condition. The bird was released on Lake Erie.

Saw-whet Owl Release a Success!!

The Northern Saw-whet Owl was released on Saturday in the early evening. With a crowd full of people, the owl was gently tossed into the air for its return to the wild. It flew beautifully to the nearest tree and perched on a branch in order to take in the new surroundings. The owl eventually flew away into the night with its second chance at life in the wild.

When the Skies Clear - Look for Mars

In a month that’s already awash in holiday red, December will offer the best telescope views of the Red Planet until 2016! Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is hosting a series of Monthly Skyquest programs in the Walter R. Schuele Planetarium to highlight the close encounter with Mars, including an additional Saturday evening star show and telescope viewing on December 29. The extra evening program is designed to take advantage of the great viewing opportunity, if the weather cooperates!

Of course, the skies are alway clear inside the Walter R. Schuele Planetarium. Check out the latest views of Mars and discover fascinating facts about the fourth planet from the Sun at Here Comes Mars!, presented every Saturday in December at 2 p.m. and on December 15 and 29 at 7 p.m., with free, outdoor telescope viewing (weather permitting) following the evening planetarium programs. The fee for all 2 p.m. shows is $2 per person. At 7 p.m., tickets are $3 per person.

To take a self-guided star hike in December, download and print our Starry Trails Guide and Map on the main Planetarium website page. Bundle up and head out to explore the night sky, with an eye on Mars!

Don't forget, the planetarium staff is adding a series of daytime, family-oriented star shows on December 26, 27 and 28, to accommodate visitors during Winter Break week. Programs will be available at 11 a.m. Noon, 1, 2 & 3 p.m. each day, and admission is just $1 per person.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ferret Helps Collect Log Cabin Wish List Gifts

Our classroom ferret, Tucker, patiently donned a Santa hat to help Wildlife Rehabiltation Specialist Amy LeMonds collect a mountain of gifts from our Log Cabin students this morning. Log Cabin Instructor Bev Walborn sent the Center's Wish List home with her children earlier this month and they responded by generously returning a host of gifts that will help our Wildlife staff care for the animals. From cotton balls to baby food to batteries, the Log Cabin's front porch tree was surrounded with their gifts this morning... and there are donations from other classes still to come! One young student named Dean brought in $15 cash for the Wish List. He told us in his card that, "I helped my mom around the house to earn the money" for the animals. Thanks to all of our classroom kids and parents for supporting the care of more than 100 exhibit and educational outreach animals and hundreds more sick and injured wildlife that come to us for rehabilitation.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Scholastic Book Sale Through December 20

If books are on your shopping list, you'll find lots of great titles from Scholastic at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Our non-profit Center earns a piece of the proceeds from this Scholastic Book Fair, so you can feel good that you are giving twice! The Book Fair is open during Center hours, 10 - 5 through December 20.

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Letter Of Appreciation and a Call To Action!

The Lake Erie Nature & Science Center staff, Board of Directors and program participants wish to express our heart-felt gratitude for the early and generous support to our year-end appeal. As we close out another year teaching an appreciation for our fascinating natural world and rehabilitating sick and injured wildlife at no charge to the public, we are fortunate that our non-profit mission is valued by a community of caring animal and nature lovers.

We are especially grateful this year to have a wonderful incentive to encourage our old friends to give a little more and to invite new friends to join our circle of supporters. The Kelvin & Eleanor Smith Foundation is matching dollar for dollar, up to $500 per person, each new or increased gift to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center’s Annual Appeal. It’s not too late to respond to this exciting Foundation challenge, but time is running short. The deadline to earn the remaining matching funds is December 31, 2007.

We hope all of you who have been touched by our 57-year legacy in the Westside community will consider including a donation to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in your year-end giving. You can even donate online and we'll confirm your eligibility for a match. Thanks again to all of our supporters. Hope to see you at the Center soon!
Happy Holidays!

Larry D. Richardson
Executive Director
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

Patrick Mazur
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center Board of Directors

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Saw-whet Release On for Saturday

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center's Wildlife Rehabilitation staff is targeting Saturday afternoon for the release of a rehabbed Saw-whet Owl. This uncommon Ohio owl is ready to return to the wild following rehab for an eye injury. The new target for release is Saturday, December 8 at 4:30 p.m. The late afternoon time accommodates the natural waking cycle of this nocturnal bird. Wildlife staff postponed the release due to heavy snow on Wednesday. Center rehabbers want the bird to have the best possible conditions for hunting and reestablishing itself in the wild during the first 48 hours following its release. The public is invited to witness the return to the wild. If you plan on coming, it's best to call ahead to confirm. You can reach the Center at 440-871-2900. You can also check this space for an update before heading out.
UPDATE: The release was a success! Thanks to all who came to witness this beautiful little owl fly free, especially our friends at WOIO/WUAB-TV-19 And WestLife photographer Larry Bennet.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Breaking News:Saw-whet Owl Release Postponed!

Our Wildlife Rehabilitation staff has just made the decision to postpone this afternoon's Saw-whet Owl release due to the heavy snow. We apologize for the late notice and we'll let you know when rehab staffers decide the time is right for a safe release.
Thanks for your understanding.

Monday, December 3, 2007

You Can Witness Saw-whet's Return to the Wild

That Saw-whet owl that Wildlife Rehabilitation Coordinator, Megan Tadiello, and the rehab staff have been working to rehabilitate (see previous entries) is ready to return to the wild. If all goes as planned, the release will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5 at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village. Megan says this release is a great chance for the public to witness the return of a rehabbed animal to the wild. That is, if you can brave this week's wintry weather for the brief time it takes to remove the bird from a carrier and send it winging on its way. If you can't make it to the Center, check back here and we'll try to get some pictures posted following the release. Call us if you want to know more, 440-871-2900 or just drop by the Center on Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Oiled American Coot

This American Coot was found in an oil pond at a steel plant in Lorain County. We gave the coot multiple baths with Dawn dishwashing detergent. We also had to flush its system because it had ingested some of the oil. We did this by inserting a tube into its stomach and using activated charcoal and Pepto-Bismol. The coot is doing well and will be released in the next week once it regains all of its waterproofing capabilities. I also spoke with the steel plant and they assured us that they are currently working with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a way to keep wildlife out of the oil pond.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Black Widow Now On Display

The venomous black widow spider that hitched a ride on a metal spool shipment from Tennessee to Westlake is now on display at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Details of the stowaway spider's surprise arrival at a Westlake manufacturing company were detailed yesterday by various media outlets, including television stations WJW, WKYC and WOIO, along with WTAM radio. The Associated Press even picked up the story and sent it statewide! Follow the links to check out some of that coverage.
Here's a tip if you want to view the spider in our Invertebrates Exhibit... she seems to prefer hanging to the underside of the lid to her habitat, so you may have to kneel down and look up to view the distinctive red hourglass that makes the black widow unique. Thanks to Planetarium Director Jay Reynolds for the capturing the macro photo of her.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Black Widow Shipping Stowaway Going On Display

A local company received a venomous stowaway in an out of state shipment today. A Westlake manufacturing company discovered a black widow spider in a shipment from Tennessee. Westlake's Animal Control Officer brought the spider to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center where our wildlife staff confirmed it is a black widow. The venomous species is recognizable for its dark coloration and red hourglass marking on its abdomen. Black widows earned their name because the female occasionally eats the male after mating. They have the most potent venom of any spider in North America and a bite can be fatal (rarely) to humans. Black widows are found in Ohio, but seldom north of Columbus.
Our wildlife staff is planning to move the spider to a secure display case later today, near our scorpion, tarantula and walking stick. Come check it out!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Double Your Money Year-End Match

A non-profit organization like Lake Erie Nature & Science Center relies solely on the generosity of supporters to keep our mission moving forward. As we wrap up another successful year caring for wildlife and teaching about the fascinating natural world around us, we are fortunate to have an extra incentive to encourage your support for our annual year-end fundraising appeal. The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation has pledged to match new or increased gifts (up to $500). What a great opportunity for new donors to the Annual Appeal to double their gifts! Increases will also be matched, meaning an Annual Appeal gift that's $100 above last year's giving level will produce $200 for the Center! Thanks to our community of supporters who provide the fuel that keeps our programs humming.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Southern Flying Squirrel

These are Southern Flying Squirrels. The one on the log is an adult female. She came in on November 5, 2007 and was found in Avon Lake in the middle of the road. She suffers from neurological damage, most likely because she was hit by a car. We treated the injury, however, I believe she has permanent damage. Two days later two young flying squirrels (picture of young one in wooden house) were brought in from Lakewood. They were found on the ground, severely dehydrated and lethargic. They have since recovered and are living in the same cage with the adult. All three squirrels will be over-wintered and will be evaluated for release in the spring.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Here is a picture of the owl in flight, along with a smaller inset picture. In this smaller picture you can see the damage to it's left eye.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Owl update

The Northern Saw-whet Owl is in a large flight cage where we can offer live mice to see if it can hunt. It has been doing good so far. Once we are positive it is hunting live prey for about 3 weeks we will then evaluate a release.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Kids Eye View of Why We Do What We Do!

One of our wonderful Wildlife Volunteers, Christa Sandy, shared the following "eco-story" that her son wrote as an optional assignment for his Kindergarten class in Rocky River. Even at age 6, John demonstrates an awesome care and respect for animals and nature. We snapped pictures of Christa and John in action, representing Lake Erie Nature & Science Center at the Crocker Park tree lighting, Friday night in Westlake.

I help wild animals by feeding birds in our backyard. They eat seeds and suet. Hummingbird eats sugar water. We make it. We feed the squirrels too. They eat corn. We plant Rose of Sharon and red flowers, and the hummingbird sits on them. He gets nectar from the flowers.

I also help wildlife by taking birds, mammals, and reptiles from Lake Erie Nature and Science Center to animal programs. I help Mama hold the animals and talk about them. They can fly, slither, and walk. My favorite is kestrel, hawk, and barred owl. Kestrel says "klee, klee, klee" and barred owl clicks his beak. Hawk says "mmm, mmm." I like to listen. The silliest one is kestrel. Skunk is not stinky and helps people to learn not to run away and to walk right past them. People at animal programs feel happy when I am there. They clap and say "yea!", and they learn about animals. They get excited about helping them. Snake looks like he has ghosts on
him. Sometimes people feel scared of him, but he is not scarey. There is a chinchilla there, and he runs fast, fast. I hope you don't wear jackets out of chinchillas.

When I help animals, I help our environment!

John Sandy
Goldwood School- Kindergarten

Thanks to the entire Sandy family for sharing John's story. (Dad, sister and grandmother were at Crocker Park too!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our Holiday Wish List

Who puts corn cob bedding, latex gloves or mealworms on a holiday shopping list? You!... if you're willing to shop for the animals at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Throughout the month of December, the Center will be collecting Holiday gifts for the animals and for the preschool classes. Both provide us with unique opportunities to teach about the amazing wildlife in our very own backyards! While you’re out making your other Holiday purchases, won’t you please pick up a small gift to share with your friends at the Nature Center? You can drop off your gifts under the tabletop tree in our lobby. As always, your support is crucial to our non-profit mission. Head to our website to find our updated wish list! If you're unable to shop, you can give a monetary donation and we'll pick up the supplies for you. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thank You Center Volunteers!

This week, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is pausing to salute our hard-working and caring corps of volunteers. We've declared this week our very own Volunteer Appreciation Week with kudos and treats for the people who give their time supporting our non-profit mission. We have volunteers of all ages who care for and work with our animals, who help out in our classrooms, who plan and put on great special events, who raise funds and lend leadership and expertise. Their contributions to our success are too numerous to list, but we appreciate each and every one of them! Volunteer Coordinator Julie Mistur is heading up this week's appreciation activities. The banner hanging in the main hallway says it all! Thank you volunteers!! We couldn't do it without you! Want to join our volunteer ranks? Find out more and sign up on our website.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rehabbed Red-tailed Hawk Flies Free Again!

A beautiful Red-tailed Hawk, whose broken wing healed with the help of wildlife rehab staff at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, was returned to the wild this afternoon, released in the blustery winds at the edge of Lake Erie. The hawk was set free in the very same Lorain backyard where it was picked up with a broken wing in September. Michael Bolmeyer, the man who rescued the injured bird, was there to witness the successful conclusion of the Red-tail’s rehabilitation.
Bolmeyer brought the injured hawk into the Center on September 17. Staff wrapped the fractured left wing for 2 – 3 weeks and placed the hawk on pain medicine. Once the bones healed, the bird underwent 2 weeks of physical therapy and was then moved into a flight cage. The hawk completed the final stages of flight conditioning at the Lake County Metroparks Penitentiary Glen wildlife rehab facility.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialist Amy LeMonds transported the bird from Lake County to Lorain for today’s release. After LeMonds gently tossed the hawk up into the wind, it quickly soared into a nearby tree, with no signs of the previous injury. LeMonds told the assembled news photographers and Bolmeyer's family that seeing the majestic hawk flying free was worth the effort that went into rehab. “This is the moment we work for.”
Bolmeyer says he was uncertain about what to do with the large, injured predator he found in his backyard. Center Rehab staff told him exactly how to safely pick up the injured hawk and transport it to the Center. “They walked me through everything I needed to know right over the telephone.”
Photographers from WestLife and the Elyria Chronicle Telegram snapped the release and WOIO-TV aired the event on the 4 and 11 p.m. newscasts. See WKYC-TV Videographer Shane Snider's story on the Channel 3 website. Visit the Center's Wildlife Rehabiliation pages here.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Christmas Carousel Success

The hardworking, all volunteer Women's Board pulled off another successful Christmas Carousel Holiday Festival on Saturday. Nearly 600 people stopped in at Bay High School to browse and buy from a wonderful variety crafts and gifts and to snap up the delicious bake sale goods. Women's Board donates the proceeds from this event to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Find out more about the board and their activities on our website.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Northern Saw-whet Owl

This Northern Saw-whet Owl was brought to us on October 23, 2007. It has blood and internal trauma of the left eye. We started the owl on steroids and the eye is already looking much better. We will soon transfer it into a flight cage where we can introduce live mice to see if it can still hunt. Saw-whet Owls only reside in Ohio during the winter months. The owl is very small, about the size of a robin.You can find out more about Wildlife Rehabilation on our website.

Twinkle Tots Time Change!

Twinkle Tots, the popular Lake Erie Nature & Science Center planetarium program designed for toddlers and their families, is moving to a new start time. Beginning Thursday, November 8, the program will begin at 11:45 a.m. instead of 11 a.m. The permanent schedule change is aimed at relieving a parking crunch that occurred during overlapping programs at the Center. The time change only affects Twinkle Tots weekday program. Saturday Twinkle Tots remains at 11 a.m. For more information about Schuele Planetarium programs call 440-871-2900 or visit the planetarium pages on our website

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

North East Ohio Girl Scouts Applaud Center Staffer

We take great pride that many of our hard working staffers are involved in a variety of community causes and organizations outside the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. Girl Scouts of North East Ohio recently applauded the volunteer work of Center Education Program Specialist Bev Walborn with a 2007 Honor Pin. Walborn, a volunteer Senior Girl Scout Troop Leader within the award-winning Bay Village Service Unit #605, received the individual kudos as part of this year’s Adult Recognition Awards.
Calling Bev a “tremendous asset” to all girl scouts, the Council also praised her work at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center “developing and presenting badge programs that benefit Girl Scouts throughout Northeast Ohio.” Bev says she draws on her long-running service as troop Leader when she helps to lead or design a scout program for the Center. “I try to take my experience as a leader and blend that with what I do as an educator."
This is the second year in a row that Lake Erie Nature & Science Center staffers have won recognition from the Girl Scouts. In 2006, The Lake Erie Council recognized Education Program Coordinator Carole Lynn Stradtman, who is also a Girl Scout volunteer, with an Appreciation Pin. The scouts also presented a 2006 Community Appreciation Award to the Center, praising our expanded Girl Scout programming as a “priceless” resource.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Junior Naturalists Visit Dike 14

A group of our Junior Naturalists and their families got the chance to visit the wild and beautiful Dike 14 Nature Preserve on Cleveland's Lakefront over the weekend. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is part of the Dike 14 Environmental Education Collaborative that's developed some cool environmental education resources for children and families. The 88-acre preserve, which developed on a former dredge disposal site, is now home to a remarkable diversity of plants and animals. Your Lake Erie Nature & Science Center contact for more information about Dike 14 is Education Specialist, Bev Walborn, 440-871-2900 x 220. Click here and scroll down to find out more about Junior Naturalist classes for kids ages 10-13.

How to Spot Newly Brightened Comet Holmes

No doubt you have heard the buzz about Comet Holmes, the obscure comet that has surprised EVERYONE in the planetary astronomy community, including our own Schuele Planetarium Director, Jay Reynolds. This comet suddenly became a million times brighter last week, making it visible to the naked eye. Jay, who took the photos and created the sky chart posted here, says before Holmes brightened, it could not be seen even with a very large telescope.

Here are Jay's instructions for spotting Comet Holmes in the night sky over Northeast Ohio:
"At 9:00pm, Look to the North Eastern sky, you should see a bright star rising, that is NOT the comet, it is the star Capella. Directly above Capella, you may see another noticeable, less dim star, the comet will be in that area and appear as a fuzzy star. Grab ANY type of Binoculars and sweep in that area, you won't miss it."
You'll want to take advantage of the first clear night we get to get a look at Holmes. The comet could fade in a matter of days or stay bright for weeks! Astronomers have not yet discovered the reason this comet suddenly burst into high wattage on the sky scene. Stay tuned as the mystery of Comet Holmes unfolds!

Friday, October 26, 2007

StarLab Wows Students in Mansfield

When our planetarium staff isn't busy teaching inside the Schuele Planetarium, you can often find them on the road, bringing the night sky along with them through the magic of our inflatable StarLab planetarium. A recent trip to Mansfield drew the attention of the Mansfield News Journal. Reporter Lou Whitmire really caputured the essence of our staff's great interactive style of teaching. The story and Dave Polcyn's photo of Planetarium Director Jay Reynolds in the middle of a hands-on lesson about force and motion are posted at the Mansfield Journal's website.

Abused Red-Tailed Hawk Rehab

A Red-tailed Hawk that's rehabbing at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is featured in the news this week, a sad reminder that humans should not try to make pets out of wild animals. A concerned citizen found the bird, emaciated and with zip ties around its ankles, on a Cleveland street in late August.

Elyria Chronicle Telegram reporter Lisa Roberson and photographer Chuck Humel put together a great story for the daily paper's October 26 edition. You can read the article and see Chuck's photo on the Chronicle's website as well.
WKYC-TV sent videographer Tom Genevese to capture the transfer of the bird to our largest flight cage. The story and videotape are posted on the Channel 3 website.
If you didn't catch Wildlife Rehabilitation Specialist Amy LeMonds' interview on WTAM-Radio, you can hear the entire interview and see a photo and story by News Director Darren Toms by going to the online home of NewsRadio 1100.
You can also look for a still photo by talented WestLife photographer Larry Bennett in the next edition of that weekly newspaper.
Before the hawk can be released, it will have to regrow damaged flight feathers, demonstrate that it can hunt and regain a healthy fear of humans. This bird faces long a rehab, but we're hopeful it can be returned to the wild where it belongs. Our Wildlife Rehabilitation Program takes in more than 1,400 injured or ill wild animals each year with the goal of returning them to the wild. We don't charge for our services, relying solely on the donations of caring animal lovers.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Center Board Member Returns From Africa

While Lake Erie Nature & Science Center specializes in Ohio wildlife, one of our board members recently took her passion for animals to a whole new level, traveling to Africa to volunteer at a Rhino sanctuary. You can read more about Rhonda Miller's adventure and check out pictures too at under the headline Bay Village Woman Returns From African Adventure.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Painted Turtle In Rehab

This Painted Turtle was hit by a car and brought to the center on October 19. The entire corner of its shell is cracked. In order to help the shell mend, I used epoxy to place cable tie mounts on the sides of the cracks and used zip ties to pull the shell together and hold it into place. The turtle is on pain medication and antibiotics. It will take months to heal, but I hope for a full recovery.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Steelhead Seminar Postponed - Go Tribe!

Since the only thing on many minds around Cleveland tonight will be the hope of reeling in the ALCS trophy, Ohio Sea Grant has rescheduled tonight's Steelhead Angling Seminar. The seminar, now set for Thursday, November 15, will cover the latest on Ohio's steelhead stocking program, steelhead biology and the ins and outs of flying fishing and spin fishing for steelhead. Kelly Riesen, Fisheries Extension Program Coordinator, (who is based at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center) is heading up the seminar that runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The $5/person admission fee benefits the Center. Reservations are necessary and seating is limited. Call Kelly at 440-808-5627 to reserve your spot. We hope to see all you baseball and fishing fans on November 15, following a World Series win by the Indians!

Check Out Our Wild New Wheels

Intense owl eyes and blazing comets adorn the eye-catching new 'ride' that will transport the Center's traveling wildlife and portable planetarium. Our new outreach mini-van is wrapped to reflect our nature, wildlife and planetarium programs. It arrived yesterday to the oohs and aahs of the staff. They previously relied on their own transportation to carry skunks and snakes and much more for our hands-on, educational outreach programs. Kudos to Patricia McRoberts who donated the beautiful wrap that puts the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center message on wheels. Check out our website for information about wildlife outreach or our traveling StarLab planetarium programs.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fall Hayride In the Sun Spotlight

The smiling faces of happy families and volunteers at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center were featured in the October 11 edition of the West Shore Sun News. The newspaper printed a montage of photos from our October 5 Family Hayride Night for it's Hot Shots feature. If you missed the print edition, all the pics, plus additional photos are posted on the Sun News website. See anyone you know?
You can join the fun in person at our Halloween Hayride Night coming up Friday, October 26! Don't forget to wear a costume.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Halloween Hayride & Trick or Treat!

Now that it finally feels like fall, we're really looking forward to our October 26 Halloween Hayride Night. This is a great evening of fun for the entire family! Costumes are encouraged and your kids can trick-or-treat through our Wildlife Gardens. In addition to treats, you'll take home a Halloween-y craft and enjoy a hot chocolate after a pizza dinner. Hop on a hayride and take in a star show in the Schuele Planetarium. Relax by a crackling fireplace and catch up with friends or family. Join us for all the fun from 5:30 - 9 p.m., but register early! Space is limited and our October 5 Fall Hayride sold out this year. The cost is $15/adult; $10/child; members $10/adult; $5/child. (Another great discount for folks with a Center membership, which costs just $50 for a family!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Planetarium Cancellation

It's rare that the show does not go on in the Schuele Planetarium, but such is the case this week for two of our most popular star shows. Our Stellar Stars program will NOT be held on Wednesday, October 10 and Twinkle Tots has been cancelled on Thursday, October 11. After one day off for each program, the normal weekday schedule for both will resume next week. Hope to see you and your little ones under the stars soon!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Weekend Sky Watching Tips

Planetarium Director Jay Reynolds, who snapped the recent view of Venus (left) through a telescope, has a heads-up for all Northeast Ohio sky watchers this weekend. In addition to a cool celestial line-up of Venus, the crescent moon and Saturn, Jay says the Space Station will pass over us Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Friday's pass is the best chance to see what appears to be a very bright and fast-moving star. Here are the details from Jay:

Friday 8:18 p.m. - Starts 10 degrees in the West South West (fairly close to bright Jupiter), then will pass nearly directly above us at 8:21. This will be the BRIGHTEST object in the sky. Passing to the North East by 8:22.

Saturday 8:42 p.m. in the West, passing only a third of the way up the sky, as it heads to the North. Pass ends at 8:45.

Sunday 7:29 p.m. Starts 10 degrees in the West South West (fairly close to bright Jupiter), then will pass nearly directly above us at 7:32. This will be the BRIGHTEST object in the sky. Passing to the North East by 7:35. (This pass will be a duplicate of Friday's pass, only the times will be different.)

Venus is the REALLY bright star in the morning in the Eastern sky. Early Sunday morning, Venus, Our Crescent Moon & Saturn will line up in a row. CANT MISS IT. A great photographic opportunity!! Star looking due East about 5:00-5:30 a.m.

Happy sky watching!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Volunteers Wanted!

Volunteers help the non-profit, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center thrive in so many ways from animal care to administrative work. How can you can get involved and support the Center?

  • We’re looking for someone with the creativity and skills to make reusable signs promoting our annual events, including Duck shaped signs for our annual Fun Fest & Duck Race.
  • An Internet savvy volunteer can help us by entering Center programs into online events databases from home.
  • We need someone to tidy up and organize the toys and books in our Critter Corner on a weekly basis.
  • We’re already thinking of next year’s annual benefit, looking for volunteers to serve on committees that will seek corporate underwriting and auction donations.
A host of other service opportunities exist. Contact Volunteer Coordinator, Julie Mistur, 440-871-2900, x215 to match your talents with our needs!

Give Twice:Nature & Science Gift Ideas

Okay, we know, it's three weeks until Halloween and already we're talking about holiday gifts. But, it's not to early to think about how you can avoid contributing to the collection of seldom used toys and gifts around the your home. In fact, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center has more than one way your gift dollars can do double duty… delighting the receiver and making a difference in the world. You can Adopt An Animal or make a donation in your loved one’s name; give a Center Gift Certificate good for a fun class, program or party; or present the gift of a Center Membership.

For the holidays, you can add great Logo T-shirts to your membership kit, animal adoption certificate, or gift certificate and we’ll bundle it all in a Center gift bag. You can also order T-shirts separately. For $10, Children’s 50% cotton tee’s come in bright orange or purple with a white screen-print Center logo on the front and “Discover the Universe In Your Backyard!” on the back. Adult, 100% cotton shirts have the Center’s tri-color logo embroidered on the front. Women’s sizes S-XL* come in pink, white and sky blue for $15. Men’s M-XL* are available in green, blue or white for $20. (*2x and up additional charge.)
Stop by the front desk to see samples and order your gift package today. Don’t delay! You need to place your order for T-shirts by November 15 to guarantee your size and color will be ready for pick-up by December 15. We’ll also take credit card orders over the phone at 440-871-2900.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Autumn Brings "Spring Songbirds" to the Center

Selected prints from the popular "Brian Zwiebel's Spring Songbirds" exhibit are now on display at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. This traveling exhibit from the National Center for Nature Photography will remain at the Center through October 2007. Many of the breathtaking close-ups were shot right here in Ohio in places like the Magee Marsh, a renowned birding hot spot along western Lake Erie. Read more about how this award-winning photographer captures his special images.

NASA's DAWN Mission

Our Planetarium Director Jay Reynolds wears many hats in the space science community. This morning he was up early, rooting for the long-delayed launch of NASA's DAWN space probe:

As I write this, technicians at NASA Cape Canaveral are preparing to roll the large gantry tower which will finally reveal the rocket that will propel the Space Probe DAWN on it’s 8 year journey. DAWN is a mission to the asteroid belt, reaching its first asteroid destination VESTA in 2011. The probe will then break orbit of VESTA and reach the dwarf planet CERES in 2015.

Since this past March, students of Cleveland State University and Lakeland Community College have been providing telescope support for this mission. This past June, our student researchers and I were invited to Kennedy Space Center to present our research to the science team and educators.

It is also good to point out that the ION engines that DAWN will use were developed by our own NASA Glenn Research Center, right here in Northern Ohio .

Thursday morning, after years of delays, 2 mission cancellations and restorations, 4 actual launch delays, DAWN is scheduled to leave Earth, at 7:20 a.m. EDT. It is sometimes described as “the rocket that wouldn’t leave!” My students and I will be watching with anticipation! Go DAWN!

Jay and his Cleveland State students were not disappointed as DAWN began its 1.7 billion mile journey through the inner solar system at 7:34 a.m. this morning.

We love Jay's connection to NASA! The affiliation allows us to bring exciting, cutting edge space photos and information to all our Schuele Planetarium programs. In fact, if you attended any of our seasonal star shows during the month of August, you already learned about asteroids and the DAWN mission.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

StarLab in Action in Sandusky

"Parents and children were seeing stars Thursday night. The Schuele Planetarium portable StarLab from the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center brought the night sky to 60 participants before the sun had even set." -- That's an excerpt from Friday's Sandusky Register. The article, along some beautiful photos of the event by Luke Wark, are posted on the newspaper's website. Planetarium Specialist Suzie Dills conducted the program. If you don't know about the wonderful, inflatable, moveable StarLab, read all about it back on the Planetarium/Outreach pages of our website.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Angling for Steelhead

Don't put your fishing gear away this winter! Learn about the great year-round opportunity to hook steelhead trout in Lake Erie. Ohio Sea Grant, a valued partner to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, is ready to show you the ropes about steelhead angling on October 18. An evening seminar will cover all the angling angles-- from the latest on Ohio's steelhead stocking program and steelhead biology to the ins and outs of flying fishing and spin fishing for steelhead. Kelly Riesen, Fisheries Extension Program Coordinator, (who is based at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center) is heading up the seminar that runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The $5/person admission fee benefits the Center. Reservations are necessary and seating is limited. Call Kelly at 440-808-5627 to reserve your spot.