A Beautiful Tradition ContinuesGlassWorks of Weston to Produce OVECs 2002 Christmas Ornaments
by Janet Fout
Twice blessed. Thats OVEC. When Pilgrim Glass of Huntington closed its doors last year, we wondered what glassmaker might continue to produce the beautiful Christmas ornaments that we sell to help raise awareness and funds for OVECs Stop Mountaintop Removal campaign.
Kelsey Murphy, the talented and resourceful glass artisan who designed OVECs ornaments for the past three years, had an idea. Kelsey and her fellow artisan and partner, Bob Bomkamp, have designed two gorgeous new ornaments that will be produced at GlassWorks of Weston, WV.
GlassWorks, which specializes in fine, hand-made, mouth-blown glass, has been operating since 1926. They feature stemware, giftware, candle accessories, and soon, OVECs new ornaments.
Each year, we choose a different plant and bird species whose habitat is destroyed by mountaintop removal strip mining of coal. This years "winners" are the alluring Wood Thrush, known for its flute-like call that emanates from within the forested, mountain valleys, and the Jack-in-the-Pulpit, an endearing and whimsical-looking plant that thrives on rich, moist forest floors.
Keep an eye on your mailbox for OVECs color postcard for ordering information for these lovely collectibles. Kelsey tells me that these limited addition ornaments will be ready for purchase by November 1.
A very limited quantity of the 2001 edition (Cerulean Warbler and Bloodroot) is still available at the OVEC office.
Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina)
The Wood Thrush belongs to the same family as the familiar American Robin. This thrush sporting a conspicuous white eye ring on a streaked face is reddish brown above with a boldly black-spotted, white breast, and a brownish-olive rump and tail.
After wintering as far south as Panama, it summers and breeds in West Virginias cool, damp deciduous (hardwood) forests, and further north, often near wooded slopes and streams.
Males first arrive in their nesting territory in March or April in the southern U.S., singing their sweet, loud, and repeated "ee-oh-lee, ee-oh-lay" atop the tallest trees in an unhurried, peaceful way. Their nests, distinguished by dead leaves and mosses, and lined with rootlets, are found 6-12 feet above the ground in the crotch or saddle of a branch or a shrub, sapling or large tree.
The female thrush, which has two broods of young during the breeding season, incubates three to four pale blue or blue-green eggs for 13 to 14 days.
Within another 12 or 13 days, the fledglings leave the nest to feed on insects, mostly eating beetles, ants, caterpillars, earthworms and other insects on or near the ground. They also eat berries of the spicebush, dogwood and Virginia creeper, as well as blackberries, pokeberries and mulberries.
The Wood Thrush has been known to live for nearly nine years.
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema Triphillum)
West Virginia is home to three species of Jack-in-the-Pulpit (A. Triphillum). Also known as the "Indian Turnip," Jack-in-the-Pulpit is a perennial herb found April through June in wet, rich woods or thickets in every county in West Virginia.
"Jack" in his canopied "pulpit" is a fleshy, club-shaped inflorescence that bears minute flowers at the base. The "pulpit," is a sheathing bract 2- to 4-inches-long, and can be green, purple or striped. By August, the bract has withered and "Jack" becomes a mass of scarlet berries.
The leaves have three parts (trifoliate) with one or two per plant. Black bears commonly feed on the corm (bulb), which has a very stinging taste, in the spring.
Another species, A. Stewardsonii, named for its discoverer, Stewardson Brown (1867-1921), is found June-August in wet woods and mountain bogs, mostly above 2,000 feet elevation (Greenbrier, Hampshire, Mercer, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Preston and Tucker counties).
A third species, A. Dracontium, also known as the Green Dragon, is found May through June in low rich ground along streams in most parts of the state, including Wayne and Wyoming counties (where mountaintop removal may threaten its habitat).