April Nature Thought: March of the Salamanders

by Mark Catlin   Early each spring an extraordinary thing happens. On the first warm evening with a good steady rainfall, the amphibians come out all at once from their underground beds, where they have been hibernating. When I say all at once, I mean literally hundreds of frogs, toads, and salamanders pop out of the ground and make their … Read More

CLC Has new Ducks!!!

by BJ Thompson For those of you who were here last year you got to meet Duncan, the amazing duck.  Over the summer he made countless friends and made everyone smile.  He was a constant presence at the waterfront with his insistent quack. I’m convinced that that quack was him laughing at us 🙂     This past fall, Duncan … Read More

Terrific Turtle Trivia

  Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, so it only makes sense to celebrate the greenest of the four clans here at Crystal Lake Camps – the turtle! Here is some terrific turtle trivia you can wow your friends with. Did you know… Turtles vary in size, from the huge 8 foot Leatherback Turtle to the tiny 3 inch long Bog Turtle The word … Read More

Nature Thought for March: Coming Back

by Mark Catlin Yesterday morning I looked at the bird feeders in our back yard and there was a Crackle, several Starlings, and two Red Winged Black Birds. I was excited! All of these species do not hang around here (Rochester, New York) in the winter so . . . . . . they’re back. The spring migration has started and it is … Read More

Gray Wolf Trivia

The Wolf Clan is one of four proud clans at Crystal Lake Camps, including the Turkeys, Bears, and Turtles. This post is the second in a series of trivia posts about the clan animals, which commenced with Terrific Turkey Trivia in November. How much of this trivia did you already know? What are your favourite wolf facts? (source) Did you … Read More

Nature Thought for January: Mountaintops

  Recently I have been thinking about mountaintops. These are places one aspires to reach. This is because often it takes a great desire and discipline to accomplish a wilderness peak. One has to be wholly dedicated to giving extraordinary effort to make it all the way to the top. The rewards for not stopping partway are the simple exhilaration … Read More

Nature Thought for December: Snowflakes!

  Coming into December got me thinking about snow and the intricate little flakes that make up snow. Snow is a big deal at Crystal Lake Camps. It is what fuels the cross country ski season and entices hundreds of visitors to come and enjoy the winter beauty of our camp. The snow itself is an accumulation of zillions of … Read More

Nature Thought for November: The Dynamic Nature of Nature

  This post is contributed by Mark Catlin, Summer Camp 2015 CIT co-director. At camp, one of things I liked to point out in my nature thoughts for the day is the dynamic nature of nature. The forest is never static but always changing. Lindsay and I were at Crystal Lake Camps for the Fall Cleanup weekend a couple weeks … Read More

Nature Thought for October: The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies

The most incredible journey in the natural world happens in North America each year from August through November. It is the migration of the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus).  Every year the Monarchs east of the Rocky Mountains, that emerge from their chrysalises in late summer, fly from their northern breeding grounds in Canada and the northern states over 2000 miles … Read More

Nature Thought for September: “The smallest bird”

In a quiet wooded suburb on the edge of Rochester, New York, Lindsay and my back yard is a fascinating place to sit and just watch nature unfold. In particular, we have a female Ruby-throated hummingbird that has decided that our backyard, with its vast assortment of flowers and a hummingbird feeder, is her property. Lindsay and I sit on the … Read More