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.


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