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Singing insect walk along C&O Canal

By Staff | Jul 24, 2015

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society will sponsor an evening “singing insect walk” along the C&O Canal in the Sharpsburg area on Saturday, Aug. 8.

The walk will be an opportunity to learn first-hand from an expert about the singing insects heard in this region during the summer months. It will be led by local naturalist Wil Hershberger, who is coauthor of “The Songs of Insects,” a book and audio CD published by Houghton-Mifflin Company.

These walks are family-oriented events that are especially popular with young children but anyone with an interest is welcome to participate. There is no fee.

However, space will be very limited so those who would like to participate should make a reservation as soon as soon as possible. Register on the PVAS website at www.potomacaudubon.org or contact Krista Hawley at adultprograms@potomacaudubon.org or 703-303-1026.

The walking group will assemble at 8 p.m. in the large C& O Canal parking lot on Canal Road, three-tenths of a mile south of the Shepherdstown/Sharpsburg bridge.

From there, Hershberger will lead an exploration of fields and roadsides near the Canal. Insects likely to be encountered include tree crickets, several species of meadow katydids, one or two species of round-winged katydids, northern true katydids, oblong-wing katydids, and perhaps some bush katydids.

Those who wish to participate should bring a flashlight and be prepared to walk through high grass and weeds. Tucking pants legs into socks and spraying them with a DEET-based insect repellent is recommended.

The walk will not take place if it is raining.

Hershberger, who lives in Hedgesville, is one of the area’s leading naturalists.

He has been photographing and recording the natural world for more than a decade and his work has been published in magazines, calendars, and books.

His recordings of birds, frogs and insects are archived at the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

His website can be found at www.natureimagesandsounds.com.