“I DID learn that if you smash the [tree of heaven] leaf… it smells like peanut butter… I also learned the cherry tree twigs smell like grape jam---The next time I venture out into to our wild America I will have a PB&J on my mind!” Dave Godfrey was one of 35 visitors at Pickering Creek Audubon Center on a warm Saturday morning in May to participate in the Center’s first BioBlitz. Dave is a regular volunteer with Pickering Creek’s wood duck monitoring program, but the BioBlitz was an opportunity to learn more about the diverse habitat and species that exist at the Center.
Pickering Creek hosted sixteen scientists from the Eastern Shore and beyond for a 12-hour survey of the Center’s 400 acres. While the scientists surveyed the Center for birds, insects, plants and more, skilled naturalists led guided tours on topics ranging from herpetology, birding, forestry and bees. Participants walked away with a deeper understanding of the importance of keeping some spaces- even among rural and urban development- natural and wild for the array of species that need the habitats to survive.
Over 300 species were recorded at Pickering Creek and some data is still rolling in, as—especially the invertebrates and mosses—findings take time to be examined and identified. Knowing the richness of Pickering Creek’s diversity will enrich the public and school programs and guide the Center’s continued conservation efforts. The data has been shared with Maryland Biodiversity Project, a nonprofit dedicated to cataloging all the living species in the state.
Enjoy more of the incredible photographs of the day’s findings by visiting our Flickr group at: https://www.flickr.com/groups/pickeringcreekbioblitz/pool/.