Natural Events


  • During the first week of June, look for painted turtles and snapping turtles that have left the water to dig their nests and lay eggs.  Many of the eggs are dug up by predators.
  • Mountain laurel blooms of pink and white flowers appear in the well-drained soils of woodlands, just before the beginning of summer.  This flower was chosen to be Pennsylvania’s state flower in 1933.  
  • Male song birds are actively singing throughout June.  Their songs are used to establish territories and attract mates.  
  • There are 20 species of firefly (a.k.a. lightning bug) and their average lifespan is only one week.  Female fireflies do not fly, but produce light to attract mates.


  • In the beginning of July, butterflies emerge from their chrysalises to eat the sweet nectar of summer wildflowers.  Butterflies bask in the sunshine because their bodies need to be at least 80ºF to fly.
  • As July progresses, gypsy moths begin to emerge from their brown pupae.  Only male gypsy moths fly because the females are too heavy with eggs.  The females attract males by secreting pheromones.
  • Look for blueberries, huckleberries, raspberries, blackberries, and dewberries. These bushes are low growing and accessible to wildlife, making their seeds easily dispersed.
  • As July ends, the chorus of cicadas, grasshoppers, crickets, and katydids can be heard.  The songs are produced by the rubbing and vibrating of wings and legs. Like most noises in nature, the calls attract mates and establish territories.


  • As summer comes to a close, millions of shorebirds head south.  Over twenty different species pass through our region during the fall migration, including the solitary sandpiper.
  • The second week of August begins the season of the spiders.  Look for webs in the fields and forests as many different spider species mate and lay eggs.  In the ponds, fishing spiders are active, preying on tadpoles, salamanders, and very small fish.
  • Search for mushrooms after a late summer rain.  Enjoy the diversity, but do not eat them unless a professional has properly identified them as being edible. Many species are toxic.  
  • During the last week of August, over twenty different species of snakes give birth.  Baby snakes are completely independent at birth.  As summer comes to an end, they must find a place to hibernate.  Many snakes will hibernate together in one den.

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PEEC Events

View our Calendar Page to see programs available at PEEC during the summer season.


Seasonal Highlights

A Sense of Place…
“There is a great deal of talk these days about saving the environment.  We must…for the environment sustains our bodies.  But as humans we also require support for our spirits … and this is what certain kinds of places provide.

The catalyst that converts any physical location – any environment if you will – into a place, is the process of experiencing deeply.  A place is a piece of the whole environment that has been claimed by feelings.  Viewed simply as a resource that sustains our humanity, the earth is a collection of places.

We never speak, for example, of an environment we have known; it is always places we have known- and recall.  We are homesick for places, we are reminded of places.  It is the sounds, the smells and sights of places which haunt us against which we often measure our present"

Alan Gussow

At PEEC, our environment and all that it provides is driven by nature and natural systems, celebrating all of the celestial seasons.  Opportunities for experiencing profound learning and connecting are offered all year long. Nature’s calendar designs our calendar.

Read a little more about the Summer Solstice, Autumnal Equinox, Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox and then celebrate the seasons…celebrate the diversity:

  • Naturally – in what you see, hear, smell, touch and taste
  • Celestially – in what you can imagine
  • Actively – in what you can do at PEEC
  • Sustainably - in what you can do (simply) to sustain and conserve

Vernal Equinox - March through May

Every year, around March 20, the sun is directly over the equator, causing night and day to be roughly the same length. The vernal equinox also signals the first day of spring.

Summer Solstice - June through August

Yearly, around June 21, the sun lingers longer than any other day of the year.  Since this is the longest day, it is the shortest night. The end of June signals the beginning of summer and the days begin to get gradually shorter.

Autumnal Equinox - September through November

Once again the sun is directly over the equator, and night and day are again roughly the same length.  Fall is here, the trees are turning, and the birds are beginning to leave for their wintering grounds.  Winter is right around the corner.

Winter Solstice - December through February

Every year, around December 22, winter officially begins.   The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year …or the longest night of the year…when the sun is furthest south in sky.  As the days gradually get longer, we remember that spring is on its way again.


Thank you to all photographers who have graciously agreed to allow us to use their photos on our website:

John Barclay
Eli Rivera
Heather Chadwick
Maria Schramm
James Maloney
Jennifer Loven
Alex Westner
Clay Spencer
Richard Frear
M. Woodbridge Williams
Don F. Mitchison
Office of Sustainability, Princeton University

PEEC has nurtured and sustained partnerships with some of the area’s leading field study resource persons and workshop leaders.  

Kathy Ambrosini

  • Has been working in the field of Environmental Education for over 20 years.
  • The Director of Education at the Mohonk Preserve located in New Paltz, NY
  • Adjunct instructor with SUNY New Paltz, teaching graduate courses in Environmental Education
  • Originator of NatureAccess™, an inclusive program of accommodations for visitors with disabilities, for which she received the 2006 Beyond the Letter of the Law award from the Resource Center for Accessible Living 

John Barclay

An award winning freelance photographer based in Bucks County, PA, John is a passionate photographer and enthusiastic workshop leader.  He is also an inspirational speaker, presenting his program Dream – Believe – Create to audiences around the world.  John’s work has been published in a number of books and magazines and is treasured by a number of private collectors.  Recently, John was the recipient of an excellence award from B&W Magazine.  You can see his work and view his workshop schedule at or on his blog at

Mike Dennis

Mike Dennis of Traditional Earth Skills of North America, can be reached at 973-570-2882.

  • Step back in time to see the day-to-day life of our local native people.
  • Lenape educational programs
  • Hands-on, interactive, native wilderness skills workshops
  • Designed for schools, scouts, educators, and outdoor enthusiasts
  • Handmade artifacts exhibits
  • Try your hand at the Atlatl, or fire by friction.
  • Programs encourage land stewardship and sustainability
  • Please visit for more information.

John Jose

Otter Creek Environmental Education Services

  • Multifaceted background in natural resource conservation, particularly wildlife ecology and water resource monitoring, and 11 years providing environmental education
  • Participated in endangered species (osprey, bald eagle, river otter) reintroduction and research projects; herpetological field work, including documenting species of conservation concern and vernal pools in PA; and implemented a county-wide, stream-based water quality monitoring (focus on aquatic macroinvertebrates) program for 8 years
  • Specializing in innovative education program origination, development and delivery to pre-K through adult audiences in a wide variety of settings
  • Proprietor of Otter Creek Environmental Education Services since 2007, providing programming and consulting services, including Schoolyard Habitat and Program Development, wildlife tracking and sign interpretation, and aquatic ecology (lake, river, and stream explorations)
  • Innate pedagogical abilities and a passion for teaching and sharing with others, of all ages, the same excitement, appreciation and understanding experienced in realizing and interpreting the mystery and wonders of the natural world
  • 2007 Excellence in Conservation Education Award for the Upper Delaware River Region

Raymond Klass

  • Raymond's images have been published in magazines, advertising, and books.  He is the author and photographer of Mammoth Cave National Park: Reflections, now in its second printing.  Raymond is currently a photography instructor with the New York Botanical Gardens, Natural Tapestries Photography Workshops, and the Adirondack Photography Institute.  He is also the chair person for the North American Nature Photography Association's High School Scholarship Program.
  • Recipient of three prestigious artist-in-residence positions through the National Park Service, Raymond has made the diverse resources of our wild lands available to everyone.  He is a popular speaker and has presented his images to thousands of people, been involved with 2 PBS documentaries, and been interviewed on National Public Radio.
  • Publishing credits include The National Geographic Society, National Parks Conservation Association, NANPA, Nature's Best, Smithsonian, Inner Reflections Calendar, American Heritage, PBS, and Outdoor and Nature Photographer to name a few.
  • A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, Raymond incorporates the latest technology into his workflow, and works to help other professionals utilize these advancements.  By explaining the newest technology in plain English, within the context of nature photography, Raymond's teaching breaks down the wall between your equipment and your art.  Raymond feels that photography should be about the interaction with the subject and environment – not about frustrations over technology.

James Maloney

James has been an instructor at PEEC since 2007.  Often found out on a trail with his binoculars around his neck and a camera over his shoulder, he loves to get out and hike Tumbling Waters on campus or the Fire Trail up Mt. Tammany in the Water Gap.  He often fantasizes about packing up an old VW mini-bus and traveling cross-country, stopping at many national parks along the way.

Del Morgan

An award winning Fine Art Photographer who resides in the Lehigh Valley and currently teaches, "Creating Visually Stunning Images," a course designed to encourage us to approach our photography from an art concept.  

You can see his work at   

Patti Shreiner

A graduate of Flagler College, Patti learned to quilt in 1995 while working at PEEC.  In 1997, she became a quilting teacher.  Known for her patience in teaching quilting and knitting, she leads a number of PEEC workshops each year in addition to her traveling programs.  Patti and her husband, Jeff, reside in a log cabin in Shohola, PA.

Darryl Speicher

An Environmental Educator with the Monroe County Conservation District, he holds a BS in biology from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts.  For 8 years he managed the Caratunk Wildlife Sanctuary for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and was the property manager for the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase, MD.  In 2000, Darryl and his wife Jackie founded the Pocono Avian Research Center. He is a federally licensed Master Bird Bander and has been conducting research on the birds of the Poconos for OARC and other organizations such as the Institute for Bird Populations and the Nature Conservancy.  He is an avid birder and naturalist leading numerous birding adventures throughout the Poconos and far afield including southeastern Arizona, the Everglades and south Florida, south Texas, and all over New England.  His writing has been published in various magazines and newspapers and technical papers have been presented at conferences for the Association of Field Ornithologists and published in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

Kathy Uhler

Along with the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center, Kathy Uhler provides live wildlife education programs using a wide variety of hawks, owls, falcons, mammals, and reptiles that are all native to Pennsylvania.  See species that could actually live right here at PEEC, up close and personal, and their adaptations explained by folks with years of experience in providing exciting educational experiences for all ages.  The director, Kathy Uhler, has been certified in K-12 Environmental Education for 25 years and has earned a MS+ 30 in wildlife biology.  Programs are tailored to subject and age group. Choose our General mixed species program, Raptors only, Creatures of the Night, or the Unhuggables.  You may also prefer a 1 or 1 ½ hour program.  Our all-volunteer facility rehabilitates more than 1100 animals of all native species annually, including being the only black bear rehabilitation center in Pennslyvania.





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