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Away from the maddening crowd...wildlife style - abc27 WHTM

Away from the maddening crowd...wildlife style

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  • Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:09:35 GMT
    On the outside, it looks like any other pickup truck, until you look under the cargo cover."We have twelve 200 amp hour sealed lead acid batteries," explained Gary Nye, pointing to a truck bed full of batteries, wired in series. It's the power source foran electric motor in what was once a gasoline engine vehicle.Nye said he was inspired to make the power conversion every time he filled the gas tank of his SUV. He saw it as a way to save on his daily commute between Landisburg and Carlisle"I ...More >>
    On the outside, it looks like any other pickup truck, until you look under the cargo cover."We have twelve 200 amp hour sealed lead acid batteries," explained Gary Nye, pointing to a truck bed full of batteries, wired in series. It's the power source foran electric motor in what was once a gasoline engine vehicle.Nye said he was inspired to make the power conversion every time he filled the gas tank of his SUV. He saw it as a way to save on his daily commute between Landisburg and Carlisle"I ...More >>
  • Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Monday, July 21 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-21 13:20:20 GMT
    At Farmer's Pride Airport in Fredericksburg, it was a summer school like none other. Nine days of learning about and flying glider planes. A unique chance for 16 Civil Air Patrol cadets to expand their abilities in aeronautics and in life.James Linker, Director, Civil Air Patrol Northeast Region,said the participants learn critical thinking skills that carry over into any walk of life."Primarily, it's an aviation exercise," said Linker, "but it's a great skill-building exercise too."Before, d...More >>
    At Farmer's Pride Airport in Fredericksburg, it was a summer school like none other. Nine days of learning about and flying glider planes. A unique chance for 16 Civil Air Patrol cadets to expand their abilities in aeronautics and in life.James Linker, Director, Civil Air Patrol Northeast Region,said the participants learn critical thinking skills that carry over into any walk of life."Primarily, it's an aviation exercise," said Linker, "but it's a great skill-building exercise too."Before, d...More >>
  • Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Friday, July 11 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-07-11 15:08:08 GMT
    For five days at the end of June, it was all things Autoharp at Little Buffalo State Park near Newport."We have people from Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Canada and from almost every state," said Neal Walters, Director of the 24th Annual Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering.Throughout the festival, workshops focused on playing techniques geared for all talent levels for the multi-stringed instrument from the zither family. There was even a seminar on how to play in front of an audience.Worksho...More >>
    For five days at the end of June, it was all things Autoharp at Little Buffalo State Park near Newport."We have people from Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Canada and from almost every state," said Neal Walters, Director of the 24th Annual Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering.Throughout the festival, workshops focused on playing techniques geared for all talent levels for the multi-stringed instrument from the zither family. There was even a seminar on how to play in front of an audience.Worksho...More >>

For one week out of the year, Bruce Bickel's garage in Colonial Park becomes a bed and breakfast for Pennsylvania Farm Show guests. Nothing fancy. Just four crates and some covers.

"All I do is provide a place for the animals to stay for a week," said Bickel.

These guests come with no special plans. You could say they "wing it." Hosting them for the overnight hours of Farm Show week is a routine that Bickel started 20 years ago when his daughter volunteered her parents' home as an overnight lodge for a few small animals, reptiles and birds that were being shown at the farm show. At the time, she was a member of the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, owners and handlers of the animals.

Bickel said he is not involved in feeding or caring for his guests. "I only have to provide a cool place here in the garage for the birds that need to be cool and quiet," he said, " and a warm place in the back family room for the snakes, turtles and frogs that need to be kept quiet and warm."

That's right, snakes, turtles and frogs in his family room in sealed, ventilated boxes. Every morning at 8:00, a team of handlers arrives to check the food supplies and then transport the animals, birds and reptiles over to the farm show building in Harrisburg. At night, they bring them back. Those involved with the animals say a break from the noise and hustle of the farm show complex is welcomed by the mostly small wildlife.

"We know from taking care of animals that they're going to do a lot better staying in an environment where it's calm and quiet," said John Drummond of the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, Penn State Outreach.

Within minutes of getting to the farm show building, it's show time for the birds, animals and turtles. Using a stage of tables, tanks and displays, handlers offer a close-up look at some of Pennsylvania's most recognized wildlife for the seemingly endless crowds. At the end of a 12-hour day, it's back to Bickel's home for another night of cool, calm and quiet for these stars of nature.

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