DAVIS - Bears, snakes and coyotes: what should you know about them? West Virginia Day weekend at Blackwater Falls State Park, Friday through Sunday, includes coyote and bear programs by wildlife biologist Karen McClure, a former employee of the Division of Natural Resources and Project WILD instructor.
McClure is the guest naturalist at 7:30 p.m. Friday presenting The Bear Facts and again at 8 p.m. Saturday presenting Coyote
"Karen enjoys teaching and sharing nature with children and adults," says Paulita Cousin, park naturalist at Blackwater Falls. "When we understand habits and habitats of wildlife, we can reduce conflict and enjoy the animals of our state."
McClure talks about bear safety, what they eat, and bear family life. The presentation includes information about how to identify bear tracks and scat. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Blackwater Falls Lodge and is open to the public without charge.
Other activities June 20 include sun catcher crafts at 10 a.m.; laces and loops craft at 12:30 p.m.; friendship flip-flops crafts at 2:30 p.m.; parachute cord bracelet or bottle buckle clips at 4 p.m.; and cabin craft at 5 p.m. Craft activities are at the Nature Center and have a small materials fee.
Do you know a copperhead from a water snake? Does West Virginia have water moccasins? At 1 p.m. Saturday in the Nature Center, Cousin presents an educational program about snakes found in West Virginia, their senses, habitats and behaviors. A black rat snake will be featured. The event is open to the public without charge. Following the program, a paper/paint-based craft, "all about snakes," is scheduled at 2 p.m. for a small materials fee.
The Coyote Challenge is at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Nature Center. McClure will talk about how coyotes entered the Mountain State. Discussion about coyote habitat and habits, what they like for dinner, and coyote behavior is part of the presentation. This program includes an outdoors component with a "howling" and the possibility of some coyotes returning the call.
Other activities Saturday include: tie-dye T-shirt making, pond game and yard games including Murbles, ladder golf, cornhole and more.
Blackwater Falls Nature Center and the boat house at Pendleton Lake are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with later hours West Virginia Day weekend.
Blackwater Falls State Park is located between Davis and Thomas in Tucker County. The park features the iconic Blackwater Falls, gorge views, lodge, cabins, campground, winter sledding, trails and restaurant. The area is known for its abundant wildlife and bird population.