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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

The Pocono Mountains' Magazine

Complimentary

Pocono Living M A G A Z I N E

The Art of Randall FitzGerald The Nature Conservancy Kathy Uhler Saves an Otter Pup Ice Harvesting 100 Years Ago


Pocono Magazines, LLC PUBLISHING

Pocono Living Magazine© & Pocono Family Magazine© 1929 North 5th Street Stroudsburg, PA 18360 570-424-1000 pmags@ptd.net www.poconomagazines.com PUBLISHER/EDITOR Larry R. Sebring larry@poconomagazines.com ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVES larry@poconomagazines.com MAGAZINE & WEB DESIGN Smart Blonde Creative Food & Wine Editor Jamie Bowman PHOTOGRAPHY & ART John Anzivino Gayle C. Brooke Ray Caswell Pat Coyle Randall FitzGerald Ashley Hall Maurice Harmon Susan Hartman Marlana Holsten Ann H. LeFevre

Barbara Lewis Marie Liu Harry Loud Regina Matarazzo Janet Mishkin John L. Moore Michael Murphy Justine Nearhood Roseanna Santaniello Tom Stone

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kimberly Blaker Roseanne Bottone Kathy Dubin-Uhler Brian Hardiman Amanda Kuhn Amy Leiser Marie Liu

Jamie Marra Suzanne McCool Janet Mishkin John L. Moore Allison Mowatt Jim Werkheiser William M. Williams

Marty Wilson ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS Kristen Sebring Linda Spalluto

PROUD MEMBERS OF

Pocono Living Magazine and Pocono Family Magazine, two regional publications filled with articles, features and photography exploring and capturing the real Pocono Mountains living experience.

Our publications can be found at many locations

throughout the Pocono Mountains region, and are available by subscription. 2 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

The information published in this magazine is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment. The publication’s providers do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information and shall not be held liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, by or from the information.© 2016 Pocono Magazines. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the expressed written permission of the publisher.


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“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell

> P hoto by Marlana Holsten

4 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


What’s Inside February/March 2021 FEATURES 7

An “Otterly” Amazing Experience

13

A Triumphant Return

18

The Nature Conservancy in Our Backyard

22

The Art of Randall FitzGerald

36

Ice Becomes and Industry in the Poconos

40

Ice Fishing in the Poconos

42

Safe Winter Driving: 4 Tire Tips for Cold Weather

46

Budgeting for Pets: Prepare for Ongoing and Unexpected Expenses

50

Skiing and Riding in the Poconos

COVER By: Marlana Holsten

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© 5


Katherine Uhler has lived in the Pocono Mountains her entire adult life. Her lifelong love of learning and nature led her to East Stroudsburg University where she earned both her BS and MS in the life sciences. She taught Ecology and other natural sciences at Stroudsburg High School for thirty years and founded and directs the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center. Passionate about wildlife, she has provided care for more than 30,000 wild creatures and provided information and education about our wild natural resources for nearly forty years. When she is not working with wildlife, Katherine enjoys spending time with her husband, Eric, Quincy their German Shepherd dog, in the woods, on the Delaware River and listening to local music.

AMY LEISER Amy Leiser is a local resident and historian who has been working with the Monroe County Historical Association for 19 years. In addition to the live tours, research assistance, and museum that the organization keeps available, Leiser offers her knowledge and assistance with family charting and genealogy. Visit www.monroehistorical.org

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

KATHY DUBIN-UHLER


AN “OTTERLY” AMAZING EXPERIENCE By Kathy Uhler Photos courtesy of Kathy Uhler

I

became a licensed wildlife caretaker when I was in my early twenties. Since then, I have enjoyed caring for orphaned and injured animals of nearly every species native to PA. Literally thousands of squirrels, owls, rabbits, foxes, hawks and even bobcats and coyotes have been raised, healed and released back to the wild at Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in the last four decades. Each species is special and requires knowledge and experience to provide the best care toward the goal of release back to wild freedom. After four decades there are few animal species that haven’t been presented for care. On May 21st, a long-time acquaintance of mine found a baby River otter in the middle of a road in Brodheadsville, Monroe County. With no mother anywhere in sight, wearing gloves, he scooped the helpless youngster up and delivered her to the wildlife center. The six-week old fuzzy brown pup weighed

a mere two pounds, was dirty, had dozens of ticks and was dehydrated and thin. Following admission, the otter pup was provided with a physical examination, subcutaneous fluids and oral electrolytes to rehydrate her, ticks were removed, a shot of Vitamin B complex was administered and she had a quick bath. She was allowed to rest in a dark heated cage while formula was prepared. River otters are the largest member of the weasel family in Pennsylvania. They are intelligent, active and charismatic. They feed mainly on fish, but catch frogs, crayfish and other small animals. Their population was decimated over the decades from over-harvesting, pollution and habitat destruction. Their last stable population was here in northeastern PA. As a student at East Stroudsburg University back in the early ‘80s, I knew the professor and primary students involved in researching methods of reintroducing FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© 7


“River otters are the largest member of the weasel family in Pennsylvania. They are intelligent, active and charismatic. They feed mainly on fish, but catch frogs, crayfish and other small animals.�


otters to the parts of the state where they had disappeared and ultimately, reintroducing them in those regions. Thanks to Dr. Larry Rymon, Thomas Serfass and Tom Eveland, River otters now have healthy populations in most of the Commonwealth. Baby otters require a formula that is high in fat and protein, but low in carbohydrates. At Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center we utilize special formulas made for individual species by a company named Fox Valley. By combining one such formula with a fat-boosting supplement, we created “baby otter formula”. Fluids were provided every few hours while the pup got stronger and started to voice her hunger for formula. We always start baby mammals on a quarter strength formula, and she accepted the bottle after only a moment’s fuss. By the second day, little Otter was sucking down half strength formula, and was active and vocal. Day three had the young super-weasel on full strength formula and enjoying her first short dip in a water basin. She gained about 2 ounces each day for the first few days. The initial challenge of ensuring little Otter’s survival was accomplished but the next challenge was to find another orphaned otter with which to place her. Raising ANY animal without another of its species holds the risk of habituation, a situation where the animal may identify more with people than with its own species, reducing its ability to survive and breed

in the wild. The risk is higher in birds than in mammals, but the concern is real with an otter because they are social creatures and are powerful predators that need to fear people. No other otter pups could be located, so a plan was made among the staff to reduce our contact with the otter as much as possible.

“Raising ANY animal without another of its species holds the risk of habituation, a situation where the animal may identify more with people than with its own species, reducing its ability to survive and breed in the wild.” Little Otter was placed in a large cage in the bottom of our barn, which is unused except for some food storage. Only staff going in to feed or clean were permitted to enter, despite a crew of volunteers aching to bottle feed a baby otter. After a week of four bottles a day of formula, solid food was introduced. Small cut up fish were provided as well as fish flavored cat food. As the pup ate more solids, bottle feedings were cut to three per day. She became much more active and resisted being handled to clean her cage. She began swimming in a black utility mixing FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© 9


tub and doubled her weight in two weeks! Formula was offered in a dish mixed with fish flavored cat food. In addition, she was given cut up mice, and occasionally crayfish delivered by volunteers. It was time to move her to an outdoor enclosure. River otters need quite a bit of space to exercise and swim. Although there are no dedicated otter enclosures at our facility, in mid-June, we modified a large enclosure we use for fawns, coyotes and other large mammals. A vinyl floor was laid and a collapsible baby pool installed with a drain. Logs and other “furniture” and some indestructible toys were added for enrichment. A hide spot was provided and the otter was moved to her “pre-release” enclosure. Completely weaned from formula the now 12 week old otter weighed 5 ½ pounds, triple her weight from when she arrived. Staff members Emily and Matt were charged with daily cleanings and providing fish and rodents to fuel the supercharged metabolism of a growing otter. An animal requiring three or four fish a day can create a food supply problem. Members of the community provided fish from their angling adventures outdoors and, beginning in July, our neighbors at Cherry Valley Trout Hatchery donated live small trout for “live prey training”. The otter was a natural! She jumped into her pool and grabbed a fish, dragged it out and sat on her log downing her meal in a mere few minutes. Then back she went for another.

The otter was a natural! She jumped into her pool and grabbed a fish, dragged it out and sat on her log downing her meal in a mere few minutes. Day by day, the otter grew and began looking like an adult otter. Catching everything live that was put in her pool (fish, frogs and crayfish), we prepared for the next step: release. She was vaccinated against rabies and canine distemper, both deadly to otters. All the literature and information gathered about raising orphaned River otters indicated that release should be done at 10-11 months of age. This otter was approaching 6 months of age but 11 months would fall during the winter, a tough time for a single young otter to strike out on its own. She was approaching adult size at about 8 pounds and was becoming quite wild, so we began researching release locations in earnest. 10 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


A long-time friend and supporter, Jim Apgar, knows the backwoods of the Pocono region like the back of his hand. A perfect release site was located and we began to prepare not-so-little otter for her freedom day several miles from any human habitation. Near the end of August, during a spell of clear dry weather, Emily and Matt contained the otter, who was weighed in her transport carrier (to prevent her handlers from bites and scratches) at just under 10 pounds. She was a big, powerful girl, who we estimate was about 27 inches plus a foot-long tail. We drove to a secluded location a good way down a dirt road, and walked her to the stream where she would make her life. Emily opened the carrier and the otter walked out, stood for a moment (this is the part where we hold our breath in worry that she might turn back toward us), then dove straight into the stream. We watched for the better part of a half hour, as she explored, hunting for fish, climbing on logs partially submerged in the creek, diving and coming up fifty feet downstream, then swimming back again. Otters are incredibly intelligent, powerful and graceful creatures. Although we have not been back to check on her, our friend relates to us that he sees otter sign and we believe that this girl is happily living her life in the wild. It was one of the most gratifying experiences a wildlife rehabilitator could imagine.

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

The Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center is a place where injured and orphaned wild animals are cared for until they can fend for themselves, when they are released back to the wild. They also offer live wildlife educational programs using animals not releasable to the wild. See their Event & Programs page for details and pricing at: www.poconowildlife.com

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“Majestic and regal, an adult bald eagle is unmistakable with its striking white head and tail contrasting against the dark brown body�.


A TRIUMPHANT RETURN By Brian Hardiman

I

was beginning to have my doubts as I stood there in the cold and snow. We had been waiting and watching in this one spot for over twenty minutes but still nothing. Furiously wiggling my toes and fingers did little to thwart the numbness setting in. A quick scan of the now restless group showed others stomping their feet and huddling together in a losing effort to stay warm. At least I’m not the only one suffering, I thought to myself. And then it happened…I don’t remember who was the first to see it and call out, but suddenly all eyes were on the spectacular sight that appeared almost magically before us. Frozen extremities were quickly forgotten and the conversation about last weekend’s party abruptly ended. An adult bald eagle, with wings pumping slowly, passed by the hushed group of onlookers at eye level, held its course down the river, and disappeared, like a vision, around the bend. It was simply awesome.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

This eagle sighting occurred in the Poconos on a field trip in February, 1984, when I was a student in Dr. Larry Rymon’s Ornithology class at East Stroudsburg University, and it was the very first bald eagle that I (and most of the class) had ever seen in the wild. It is one that will be forever etched in my mind. Standing on the banks of a remote section of the Delaware River that day was in itself exhilarating and memorable -- snow was falling and the flakes accentuated the green of the towering hemlocks around us. There were no traffic noises to be heard, only the soothing sounds of the rushing water below us. Yes it was cold, but the thrill and anticipation of possibly seeing a bald eagle trumped any hardship. Besides, Dr. Rymon said this was the best place to see a bald eagle, and everyone knew that Doc (as he was affectionately called by his students) had the bird gods on his side. After we actually did see that eagle (just as Doc had predicted), his legendary status only grew.

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Eagle sightings back in 1984 were an uncommon event. At that time there was only a very small wintering population in the Poconos and no nesting eagles at all. Today, because of the increase of the local wintering and nesting populations, you don’t need a legend like Doc Rymon to find bald eagles. You just need to know when and where to go. The best time to see bald eagles in the Poconos is during the non-breeding winter months when the small resident population is supplemented by wintering birds that are forced south to our area by the frozen waters up north. The eagle numbers are highest at this time and visibility is best with the lack of foliage. Wintering eagles start moving into our area in December, with peak numbers usually seen in January and February. These numbers drop off in March as the eagles disperse and move back north. Among the best places to see bald eagles is along the Delaware River. Even in the coldest winters, stretches of the Delaware will have open water that provides fishing and other foraging opportunities for these birds. Locations in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA) offer excellent chances to see bald eagles. This 70,000 acre National Park 14 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

Service site has outstanding eagle habitat that meets the needs of wintering and nesting birds. The river provides food, and the stands of large deciduous and coniferous trees provide perches for foraging and roosting and sites for nesting.

“The best time to see bald eagles in the Poconos is during the non-breeding winter months when the small resident population is supplemented by wintering birds that are forced south to our area by the frozen waters up north.” Some of the best viewing areas in DWGNRA are the river access sites at Smithfield Beach, Bushkill, Dingmans Ferry, and Milford. Eagles can often be seen perched at river’s edge or soaring overhead on their large, flat plank-like wings. A really lucky observer may even see an eagle snagging a fish from the river or picking a duck off the water’s surface or from midair. Eagles are opportunistic and will take other prey as well. I once


Photos courtesy of Unsplash

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saw an eagle carrying a gray squirrel in its talons, and another time while leading an eagle field trip, my group and I watched an eagle grab a muskrat from the river, fly off with it low across the water with the muskrat’s tail dragging, and land on a rock where it ate the animal. Bald eagles are also scavengers and my groups, on more than one occasion, have seen multiple eagles feeding on a winter-killed deer. To many the bald eagle symbolizes courage, freedom, and wilderness. It was selected by Congress in 1782 as the national symbol of the United States, despite the objections of Ben Franklin who felt the bald eagle possessed poor moral character (reflected in its behavior of pirating food from other species) and was a poor choice next to Franklin’s own wild turkey. In my humble opinion, I believe the appropriate choice was made. Eagles are birds of strength, beauty, and size, and different species have been chosen as the national symbols of countries

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around the world. The bald eagle is the only eagle species found exclusively on the North American continent, and it would be difficult to imagine any other bird, wild turkey or otherwise, as our national symbol.

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“ Today the state’s nesting population is well over 100 pairs, with a number of these birds nesting right here in the Poconos.”

Majestic and regal, an adult bald eagle is unmistakable with its striking white head and tail contrasting against the dark brown body. This adult plumage is attained at about five years of age. Immature birds, on the other hand, are basically brown throughout with varying degrees of white mottling depending on age. Bald eagles are impressive birds in terms of size—they can stand thirty inches from head to tail with wingspans reaching seven feet. The weight of these birds can range from about eight to fourteen pounds, with females larger than males (the sexes, otherwise, are similar in appearance). Once on the brink of extinction throughout most of its range, the bald eagle has made a remarkable comeback. Habitat loss, human persecution, and especially DDT contamination all played a role in eagle populations plummeting. At the time of European settlement, there was an estimated 100,000 bald eagles in North America. By 1963, less than 500 nesting pairs were known to occur in the contiguous United States. The bald 16 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

eagle would soon be designated as an endangered species at the federal and state levels. A number of factors were responsible for the recovery of our national symbol. The banning of DDT was crucial in this turnaround, as well as protection of the species and its habitat provided under state and federal Endangered Species Acts. Increased education efforts to reduce human persecution and the improvement of water quality were also boons to the eagle population. Another major contributor to the bald eagle recovery were reintroduction programs implemented by various states including Pennsylvania. These efforts gave the population a jumpstart in areas where historically eagles once nested. Combined, these recovery efforts have produced dramatic results. As recently as 1980, there were only three known eagle nests in the state of Pennsylvania. Today the state’s nesting population is well over 100 pairs, with a number of these birds nesting right here in the Poconos. Other states have experienced similar


Photos courtesy of Unsplash

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increases. As a result, in 2007 the bald eagle was removed from the federal list of endangered and threatened species. However, it is still afforded federal protection by the Bald Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, as well as being protected by endangered species laws at the state level. Once only a rare winter sight in the Poconos, now it is not surprising to see a bald eagle any day of the year in our area. Their presence is a testament to the outstanding quality of our natural environment here in the Poconos. Looking back on that day along the Delaware when I saw my first bald eagle with Doc and my classmates, I never imagined that 25 years later the bald eagle would make the triumphant return that it has. In that time I have seen literally hundreds of bald eagles, and every one is special, but I’ll never forget that first one. Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in our February 2012 issue. It is reprinted now as a reminder of the progress our country has made in protecting our national symbol.

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THE NATURE CONSERVANCY IN OUR BACKYARD By Amanda Kuhn This is the first of a series of features that will appear in Pocono Living about the agencies, organizations and associations that preserve and protect our lands and waters and promote the wise and safe use of our natural resources.

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As the largest charitable environmental organization in the world, TNC is committed to tackling climate change, protecting our land and water, providing food and water sustainably and building healthy cities. With over one million members, more than 400 scientists and dedicated staff, a vast network of partner organizations, governments and influencers, The Nature Conservancy is able to drive policy decisions and direct public funding to further their mission of creating a world where people and nature can thrive together in unison. Their vision of a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake. Nature’s ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives may seem like a fantasy, but with a presence in more than 70 countries and territories this fantasy becomes more real.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

A

future where people and nature thrive. Is it possible? While there’s no simple answer, it’s clear that the key to thriving in the future will require large scale conservation, problem solving and the revaluing of nature on every level. Who is ready to tackle these seemingly insurmountable challenges? The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and their over one million members were made for the job. As the largest charitable environmental organization in the world, TNC is committed to tackling climate change, protecting our land and water, providing food and water sustainably, and building healthy cities. Since 1951, TNC has been making lasting changes around the world and remains focused on these priorities. The actions we take now are important in protecting the world we rely on and its future.

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One of the most effective ways to encourage conservation is by partnering with local communities and the people who live there. It has been proven that in order to successfully impact conservation, the people tied to the area’s natural systems must be actively engaged and their voices must be heard. Across the United States, The Nature Conservancy has a presence in every state working with public and private partners to ensure the protection of local land, water, and resources. In Pennsylvania, TNC is actively working on a variety of programs that promote forest conservation, improving water quality via farmers and agri-businesses, climate change, and making urban areas more livable. There are also a number of public preserves that TNC protects, some of which are in our own backyard. The Eagles Preserve at Moosic Mountain in Jessup, the Long Pond Preserve and Hauser Nature Center, the Thomas Darling Preserve in Pocono Lake and the Tannersville Bog Preserve are a few local spots to visit.

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The Long Pond Preserve and Hauser Nature Center is a complex that includes 12,000 acres. The complex is jointly owned by the Tunkhannock Township, the PA Game Commission, the PA Bureau of Forestry, PA State Parks, Wildlands Conservancy and the TNC. Together, these partners have used cutting edge science to create a detailed inventory of plant, animal communities and demographic data for this area. The data helps to effectively manage the unique barrens found in the preserve that are both threatened by development and fire suppression. Today, they continue working together to acquire and manage additional lands and public access to outdoor recreation. One of TNC’s first preserves in Pennsylvania is a local favorite, the Tannersville Cranberry Bog Preserve. A stark contrast to the surrounding mountains, the bog is a remnant of what was once a glacial lake thousands of years ago. At the Tannersville Cranberry Bog you can find students, educators, scientists, and nature lovers alike. The preserve is managed in coordination with the Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center, Pocono Township, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and local volunteers.


Photos courtesy of Pixabay

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At a time when people are turning to nature for both their physical and mental well-being, it’s a significant reminder of conversation’s importance. For more information about The Nature Conservancy and their impact around the world, visit www.nature.org. Here you will also find more information about their local efforts. Interested in becoming a volunteer? The Nature Conservancy is always looking for individuals who share their passion for protecting and conserving our environment. By joining their efforts, we can become one step closer to living in a place where people and nature thrive.

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THE ART OF

R ANDALL F ITZ G ERALD

R

andall (Randy) FitzGerald has been photographing and painting images of the Poconos since moving to the area more than 30 years ago. Working as an evolutionary biologist and environmental educator at Montclair State University, he has always loved science and art — to him the two are intimately connected. His profession has afforded him the opportunity to spend many hours in the fields and forests in the tri-state area with his camera always in tow. The American photographer, Berenice Abbott once said, “Photography was the medium preeminently qualified to unite art with science. Photography was born in the years which ushered in the scientific age, an offspring of both science and art.” Randy has dovetailed, photography and painting to create art that tells the story of the landscapes he encounters. Constantly exploring the limits of the media with which he works, using ink and acrylics, he creates unique pieces of art that please the eye and move the soul. The rural scenes in and around the Poconos tell the stories of farms and fields, many left to fallow, yet not forgotten — a constant reminder of the history of the area. The rivers and trees in his artwork seem to speak to the viewer, telling their stories and welcoming protection. In this issue of PLM, Randy’s artwork focuses on the wonderful winter landscapes of the Poconos and surrounding area. Randy’s artwork can be seen at the ARTery Gallery in Milford, a cooperative art gallery owned and operated by artists. His work can also be viewed at the Art Factory in White Mills and on his website at RavenNestGallery.com.

> Winter Farm

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> Perfect Perch 24 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


> Another Time

> Ice Fishing


> Where the Wild Things Live

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> Frozen Cattails


> Cold Waters, Tall Trees


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> Swan Farm


> Chickadee

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> Winter Wetland

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> Gathering Storm

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> A Quiet Moment

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> Country Winter FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© 35


ICE BECOMES AN INDUSTRY IN THE POCONOS By Amy Leiser, Executive Director Monroe County Historical Association

O

ne hundred years ago, Monroe County was a leader in northeastern Pennsylvania’s ice production and distribution business. The ice was initially harvested from our lakes for use locally by both residents and resorts catering to tourists. As demand for ice grew, Monroe County ice companies began to transport their ice to areas outside Monroe County including New York and Philadelphia. Although it hasn’t been so this year, the freezing winter temperatures of the Poconos guaranteed a large crop of ice and provided employment to hundreds of local citizens throughout northeastern Pennsylvania.

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Harvesting ice was hard, cold work. Beginning in January, or even December if the weather had been cold enough, laborers flocked to the frozen lakes looking for employment. In particular, many farmers were able to earn a little extra income by harvesting ice. Harvesting ice from lakes was not as simple as chipping away at the sheet. First, the lake had to be prepared, by plowing away any snow, then scraping the ice to a smooth surface with large, horse-drawn planes. Next, the boundary


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“The boundary had to be marked carefully, as all of the blocks needed to be the same size to make storing the blocks easier and more efficient.”

of the area to be harvested was scored into the ice with a hand cutter. The boundary had to be marked carefully, as all of the blocks needed to be the same size to make storing the blocks easier and more efficient. After the boundary was marked, a worker with a horse-drawn “cutter” would score a checkerboard pattern in the harvesting area. The cutter, which resembled a strange mix of a child’s sleigh and an old-fashioned plow, had two runners. One runner was a guide plane, with which the cutter operator would carefully follow the boundary line. The other runner was an actual

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cutter, that carved a two-inch deep groove into the ice. The cutter operator would then turn his horse and make the next pass, scoring one line at a time. The runners on the cutter were exactly forty-four inches apart. By the time the cutter operator was finished, the lake had been scored into a gridwork of 44x44 inch blocks. After the layout was complete, anther horse-drawn sleigh was used. This tool, an all iron ice plow, had adjustable blades on three runners and was used to retrace the grid, scoring the ice to within four inches of the bottom of the ice sheet. As the ice was now too weak to hold the weight of horses, the final step in the process was cutting through the ice blocks by hand with longbladed saws. Workers would saw off very large sections of the sheet, then ride them as they were floated or pulled across the ice toward the ice house. As they approached the ice house, the men would break the large sections into their 44 inch squares with a series wedge-like of bars.

38 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINEŠ FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

The boundary had to be marked carefully, as all of the blocks needed to be the same size to make storing the blocks easier and more efficient Monroe County boasted many lakes and thus many ice companies. While local merchants had been cutting and distributing ice since the 1880s, it was the Pocono Mountain Ice Company that turned local ice into industry. In 1893, investors from Easton established the Pocono Ice Company in Pocono Pines. These investors initially devoted $30,000 into the new company and built an ice house capable of storing 104,000 tons of ice. By 1900, the Pocono Ice Company was so successful, the promise of profit drew more companies to the area. The Pocono Ice Company rapidly became the largest with ice plants in both Tobyhanna and Gouldsboro.


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Poponoming Ice Company was established at Saylor’s Lake, employed 30 men with 20 teams of horses, and was capable of storing 30,000 tons of ice. Interestingly, the ice houses were eventually torn down, and the lumber was used to build cottages along the lake front. Trout Lake and Mountain Springs Lake in Reeders boasted a storage capacity of 130,000 tons of ice. The Tunkhannock Ice Company on Stillwater Lake built a 10-room storage house and could house 31,000 tons of ice. The American Ice Company housed 57,000 tons of ice on the shores of Lake Naomi. By the end of the 1930s, modern electric refrigerators replaced the ice boxes. Ice could be made at home easily, and eventually there was no need for ice to be harvested from frozen Monroe County lakes. The ice harvesting tradition still continues today.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© 39


ICE FISHING

IN THE POCONOS By Amanda Kuhn

I

f snow covered terrain and freezing temps aren’t enough to keep you and your family indoors, there’s plenty of low cost family fun to be found. While skiing, snowboarding, skating, and snowshoeing are all winter favorites, the price tag for tickets and equipment can get steeper than the slopes. Ice fishing requires minimal equipment, little experience and lots of warm layers. But aside from having the proper attire, there are some important things you need to know to ensure the safety of you and your fellow anglers. Before deciding on your favorite fishing spot, it’s crucial that you educate yourself on proper safety measures. Ice fishing should never be done alone and life jackets should always be worn regardless of the ice thickness. It is also important that

40 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

you are equipped with the proper tools including rope, ice picks and dry clothes. Most importantly, you’ll need to accurately determine the thickness of the ice. Determining the thickness of the ice should be done while standing on the shore by drilling or spudding the ice. Thickness will vary across the body of water so be sure to check different spots. Generally, you should never fish on ice that is less than 4 inches thick. According to the PA Fish and Boat Commission, 4 inches is enough for 1 angler, 5 inches for one snowmobile and 7 inches for a small group. Once you have determined that the ice is safe, use the tool of your choice to drill a hole no bigger than 10 inches in diameter. Augers, spud bars, pipes or poles with chisel-like blades on the end are typically used.


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Bluegills, Trout, Crappies, Perch, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskies and Walleyes can all be found in the various bodies of water that cover the Poconos. One of the area’s most popular ice fishing locations is Lake Wallenpaupack. This 5,700 acre lake located in Pike and Wayne counties, is great for fishing Bass, Walleye, Pickerel, Yellow Perch, Trout and a variety of panfish. For an interactive map of the best ice fishing locations visit the PA Fish and Boat Commission website.

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In addition to your gear and safety items, you’ll also need the proper bait and tackle. Depending on what you’re fishing, your equipment may vary. Panfish anglers generally prefer a short jigging rod and your choices for bait are vast. Worms, minnows, and grubs are always productive but other grocery store baits like cheese, corn or marshmallows can also be used.

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For information about ice fishing in the Poconos, proper safety measures, angling techniques and more, visit the PA Fish and Boat Commission website at www.fishandboat.com. Also, be sure to check their calendar for upcoming seasonal fishing programs where you and your family can learn the basics of ice fishing. *PA Fishing License required. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© 41


SAFE WINTER DRIVING: 4 TIRE TIPS FOR COLD WEATHER Courtesy of Family Features

E

ven the most experienced drivers can encounter challenges when driving on slick roads caused by ice and snow or dealing with the impact of colder temperatures during the winter months. In fact, inclement weather and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes each winter, according to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Being safe on the road begins before you even slide into the driver's seat. When the temperature drops, it's important to pay special attention to your vehicle's well-being, including

42 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINEŠ FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

checking the battery, wipers, coolant and other systems. One of your vehicle's most important safety and performance features that should not be overlooked as winter weather sets in is its tires, which are the only direct link to the road below. Consider these tips from the experts at Discount Tire to help ensure your tires are ready for winter.

MAINTAIN PROPER PRESSURE

The air inside your tires supports the weight of your car, and as the outdoor temperature drops, so does your tire pressure. For every 10-degree drop in ambient temperature, your tires can lose about 1 pound per square inch (PSI) of pressure.


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Keep a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle and check your tires at least once a month to ensure they are filled to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended inflation level, which can be found in the instruction manual or inside the driver's door. Also, if your vehicle has a spare tire, remember to check its inflation level as well, as it may be different. Many cars may have been sitting idle due to the pandemic. Activities being cancelled, working from home and more frequent dining in have kept more cars off the roads than usual. However, just because you haven't been driving doesn't mean your tires have stayed the same. Tires can still lose air pressure,

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around 1-2 PSI per month, even if they aren't being used. Some tires may also vibrate after sitting for a while. These concerns can be solved with a quick tire checkup.

CHECK YOUR TREAD

Tread depth helps determine a vehicle's safe stopping distance. You can check your tires' tread depth by sticking a penny upside-down in one of the grooves. If President Lincoln's entire head is visible, it's time to replace your tires to ensure you're able to stop in time in conditions that typically accompany the winter months. 44 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINEŠ FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

INVEST IN WINTER TIRES

In extreme cold, the tread rubber of all-season or summer tires can stiffen and lose the ability to provide sufficient traction. Winter tires are made from softer rubber to maintain pliability, and the tread design features thousands of extra traction edges for added grip. If you regularly drive in temperatures of 45 F the same temperature at which you can begin to see your breath - or below, replacing all four tires with winter tires can help provide more control and deliver as much as a 25-50% increase in traction over all-season tires, which could be the margin you need to stop in time or turn to avoid trouble.


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“If you regularly drive in temperatures of 45 F — the same temperature at which you can begin to see your breath — or below, replacing all four tires with winter tires can help provide more control.”

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ROTATE OFTEN

To increase tread life, rotate your tires every 6,000 miles, or earlier if irregular or uneven wear develops. One easy way to remember is to have your tires rotated every other time you have your oil changed. As you prepare your vehicle for safe winter travel, visit DiscountTire.com for more tips, a personalized tire guide and to find a location near you.

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BUDGETING FOR PETS:

HOW TO PREPARE FOR ONGOING AND UNEXPECTED EXPENSES

46 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Courtesy of BPT


S

ixty-seven percent of U.S. households own a pet, or about 85 million families, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA). This number is poised to increase because many households have added pets during the pandemic, helping aid in the physical and emotional well-being of families nationwide. Caring for a pet requires time, love and a financial commitment. The problem is COVID-19 has also brought economic stress and financial uncertainty to many people, which may impact how they care for their pets. Fortunately, there are ways to be financially prepared to care for your pet's needs, both planned and unexpected. "A proactive approach helps you plan for your pet's care as well as how to pay for it, from veterinary to nutrition and beyond," says Boo Larsen, general manager, veterinary medicine for CareCredit. "While the cost of caring for a pet can add up to hundreds or thousands, there are many simple, budget-friendly options that help families manage the cost." Larsen shares tips for planning financially for pets:

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“A proactive approach helps you plan for your pet’s care as well as how to pay for it, from veterinary to nutrition and beyond.” NUTRITION AND SUPPLIES

Seek advice from your veterinarian on the pet nutrition that would be best for your pet. Obesity in pets is a growing concern and proper feeding can keep your pet at an ideal weight that supports overall health. Ask if store-brand and generic supplies may be a good option, as these come at a fraction of the cost of name brands. Additionally, consider monthly subscriptions with home delivery or curbside pickup that are convenient plus may provide discounts that can help you save.

PLANNED AND UNEXPECTED VETERINARY CARE

A relationship with a veterinarian is essential to your pet's health through every stage of life. There are simple, budgetfriendly solutions families can use to build a financial safety net for both routine planned care as well as unexpected illness or injury:

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Photo courtesy of BPT

"Pets provide a lifetime of love and they look to us to provide a lifetime of care."

FINANCING: CareCredit helps alleviate financial stress before an

WELLNESS PLANS: Many veterinarians offer wellness plans

urgent pet issue. Research shows four out of five pets will experience a medical emergency in their lifetime. CareCredit is accepted at more than 85% of eligible veterinary care providers across the nation, and can be paid off fully or in monthly installments.

that cover certain types of care for a monthly fee. Ask your veterinarian about suggestions for your pet's unique needs and available options that fit within your budget.

PET INSURANCE: A provider like Pets Best can help

Many pets require grooming, boarding, training and day care to stay physically and mentally well. If your pet has these needs, ask your friends with pets who they recommend and look at reviews of local service providers online. Many offer packages to help make care accessible. You can also shop around to try to stay within a certain price point.

cover ongoing expenses like vet appointments, diagnostics, medications, dental treatments and more. You choose an insurance plan, pay a monthly premium and get reimbursed for covered veterinary expenses. 48 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINEŠ FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CARE


Photo courtesy of BPT

M

K

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

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"Pets provide a lifetime of love and they look to us to provide a lifetime of care," says Larsen. "These simple steps will help you save money while providing your pet with everything they need." Pet insurance is administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC and is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company, a New York insurance company. Please visit www.americanpetinsurance.com to review all available pet health insurance products. Pets Best is a CareCredit Solution.

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SKIING AND RIDING IN THE POCONOS Courtesy Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau ~ 800POCONOS.COM

BIG BOULDER

8 LIFTS ~ 15 TRAILS ~ VERTICLE 475’

Winter fun for everyone offering 15 slopes, 7 terrain parks, 100% snowmaking and great grooming! Snowsport Learning Center for Kids! Night skiing and riding. Snow tubing with 12 chutes, 5 lifts including a conveyor lift. P. O. Box 1539, Blakeslee, PA 18610 570-443-8425 (Snow Report and Phone Number) Web Site: jfbb.com ~ Email: info@jfbb.com

BLUE MOUNTAIN SKI AREA

12 LIFTS ~ 37 TRAILS ~ VERTICLE 1082’

Ski or Ride PA’s highest vertical with 37 trails (3 new for this year including Glade skiing and a children’s learning trail)! Blue has the regions only BigAirBag (a huge air-filled pad cushions the landing for aerial maneuvers) and six and four passenger high speed lifts. Five awesome terrain parks for all abilities. 21 tubing slides. Groups welcome. 1660 Blue Mountain Dr., Palmerton, PA 18071 ~ 610-825-7700 Web Site: skibluemt.com ~ Email: information@skibluemt.com

50 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN RESORT 15 LIFTS ~ 34 TRAILS ~ VERTICLE 800’

Two high speed quads, only halfpipe in area; 100% snowmaking. 100% Night Skiing; two terrain parks. Groups welcome. Snow tubing with single and double tubes. One Camelback Road, Tannersville, PA 18372 ~ 570-629-1661 Web Site: skicamelback.com Email: sales@camelback.com


THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE

THE MOUNTAINS FOR THE HOLIDAYS.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Celebrate the holidays surrounded by great company and even better cuisine in the Pocono Mountains. From romantic dinners by candlelight to farm-to-table experiences, our local chefs are serving up something for every palate. Visit PoconoMountains.com to see all of our mouth-watering dining options and make your reservation.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© 51


JACK FROST

10 LIFTS ~ 30 TRAILS ~ VERTICLE 600’

Winter fun for everyone offering 30 slopes, 1 terrain park, 100% snowmaking, and great grooming! Snowsport Learning Center for Kids! One park terrain park and glade skiing and riding. Snow tubing with 5 chutes and 2 lifts.

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52 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


Photo courtesy of Unsplash

SHAWNEE MOUNTAIN

11 LIFTS ~ 18 TRAILS ~ VERTICLE 700’

Family and Beginner Friendly. Shawnee is also the closet ski area to Metro NYC and New Jersey. With 23 trails, New High Speed Quad, Terrain Parks and Snow Tubing, Premier Learning Center and 100% Snowmaking. Shawnee is Winter Fun. Minutes Away. 1-80, Exit 309, Shawnee On Delaware, PA 18356 Snow Report: 800-223-4218 ~ Phone: 570-421-7231 Web Site: shawneemt.com Email: info@shawneemt.com

SKI BIG BEAR

6 LIFTS ~ 18 TRAILS ~ VERTICLE 650’ Make memories at Ski big Bear at Masthope Mountain. Offering skiing, snowboarding and tubing. On-site rental shop and lessons available. Eighteen trails, six lifts, terrain park and 100% snowmaking makes sure there is something for the whole family to enjoy. HC 1 – 1A353, 192 Karl Hope Blvd., Lackawaxen, PA 18435 570-685-1400 ~ (Snow Report and Phone Number) Web Site: ski-bigbear.com Email: bigbear@Ltis.net

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 POCONO LIVING MAGAZINE© 53


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Pocono Family Magazine

Barrett Paradise Friendly Library Cresco, PA 570-595-7171 www.barrettlibrary.org

Pocono Mountain Public Library Tobyhanna, PA 570-894-8860 www.poconomountpl.org

Clymer Library Pocono Pines, PA 570-646-0826 www.clymerlibrary.org

Western Pocono Community Library Brodheadsville, PA 570-992-7934 www.wpcl.lib.pa.us

Eastern Monroe Public Library Branches Hughes Library (main branch) Stroudsburg, PA 570-421-0800 www.monroepl.org Pocono Township Branch Tannersville, PA 570-629-5858 Smithfield Branch Marshalls Creek, PA 570-223-1881 Bookmobile 570-421-0880 x49

Available at Local Businesses & by Subscription Pocono Magazines, LLC 1929 North Fifth Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360 570-424-1000 • pmags@ptd.net

Pocono Slate Belt Shooting Association A trapshooting club located in Bangor, Pennsylvania

Next Issue of

Pocono Living Magazine APRIL/MAY 2021

The Pocono Mountains' Magazine

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TRUSTED PARTNERS

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Pocono Living Magazine Feb/Mar 2021