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Trail Mix: nature activities in our area

  • Margaret Morse Nice

    Margaret Morse Nice

  • Deer tick

    Deer tick

  • Margaret Morse Nice
  • Deer tick

The Scientific Belle of Amherst

AMHERST— What woman was born in Amherst in the 19th century, attended Mount Holyoke College, and went on to world-wide fame in the 20th century?

For ornithologists the answer is clear: Margaret Morse Nice.

David Specter will discuss the life and work of the key pioneer in the study of bird behavior at the Hampshire Bird Club’s monthly meeting on Monday, April 14. The meeting, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:15 p.m. in the Immanuel Lutheran Church Hall at 867 North Pleasant St. Amherst.

An overview of Nice’s life gives glimpses of birdwatching in the Connecticut River Valley more than a century ago, the foundations of ethology (the study of behavior in a natural and evolutionary context), and of her classic studies of behavior, including warbler nesting studies done in Pelham.

Spector has been a member of the Hampshire Bird Club since its first meeting and is a former board president of the Hitchcock Center. He teaches biology at Central Connecticut State University.

Free tick workshop Tuesday

ORANGE — Trail Head, 1 S. Main St., will be having a free workshop Tuesday, April 15, 7 p.m. Public Health Nurse Pam Jobst will share information on how to recognize ticks, how to reduce exposure to ticks and what to do if you have a tick embedded. Young ticks are the size of a poppy seed and adult deer ticks are the size of a sesame seed. Both can spread the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Find out more about the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases and the best guidelines for prevention. For more information, 978-249-8500.

Great Falls Discovery Center

2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, 413-863-3676, www.greatfallsdiscoverycenter.org. Open to the public Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. All programs are free to the public unless otherwise noted. Facilities are accessible.

∎ Artist Reception for Ed Gregory’s photo exhibit: “You’ve Seen Them Before ... But Not Like This.” Thursday, April 17, 5 to 9 p.m. Gregory’s photo exhibit features a selection of high-resolution images of typically mundane subjects that are presented in a “GraphScanic” format. The subjects are all around you. This exhibit offers a new perspective on their mostly overlooked but simple and elegant existence.

∎ Turners Falls Third Thursday: “Evolution of the Turners Falls-Gill Bridge: A Pictorial Presentation by Local Historian Ed Gregory.” Wednesday, April 16, 7 to 8 p.m. As part of the Turners Falls Third Thursday event, Gregory will offer a pictorial presentation of the Turners Falls-Gill Bridge through the many years of its existence.

∎ Saturday, April 19, 1 to 2 p.m. Watershed Investigators: A Pool Party for Nature; Vernal Pool Exploration. A monthly child-oriented program that focuses on hands-on discovery of local nature. Explore different ways to look at the natural world around us. Methods of discovery may include crafts, games, stories, and exploration. This program is geared toward grades 2 to 5, but everyone is welcome. This month, explore seasonal vernal pools and the frogs and salamanders that depend on them. This program will likely have an outdoor component so bring warm clothes, waterproof boots and a sense of adventure.

∎ Saturday, April 26, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Winter and Spring Pre-School Series: Salamanders and Frogs. Wetland critters are on the move. Learn about their homes, songs, and habits through stories, crafts, and activities. For ages 3 to 6 with a parent or guardian. Siblings and friends welcome.

∎ Saturday, April 26, 1 to 3 p.m. Swoop into Spring: Learn About and Celebrate Bats. Join students of the Deer Paths Nature Education Center to take a closer look at bats. The program features activities for families with children, songs, skits, displays and a showing of a film regarding the natural history of bats and conservation efforts. Light refreshments provided. There will be a raffle for a bat house and other prizes and all proceeds will be donated to BatCon, specifically to help with White Nose Syndrome. This event is created and hosted by students at Deer Paths Nature Education Center in Wendell as a culmination of their bat studies. For more details, go to www.deerpaths.org or call 978-544-1990. Free admission, but donations will be accepted and all money will be given to Bat Conservation International.

Northfield Mountain

99 Millers Falls Road (Route 63), Northfield. 413-659-3714 or 800-859-2960. Owned and operated by FirstLight Power Resources. www.firstlightpower.com/

∎ Water Dances. On Saturday, April 26, from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m., come to Northfield Mountain’s Riverview Picnic Area Pavilion on Pine Meadow Road in Northfield for Water Dances. This public sound-and-light ceremony is a gesture of appreciation to the Connecticut River. A collaboration between celebration artist Phyllis Labanowski of Conway, Brazilian sound artist Ricardo Frota of Ware and those who come to dance or watch, the evening will include vibrant, multicultural percussion and illuminated hula hoops. Observers may bring snacks and arrive at the Riverview Picnic Area Pavilion (156 Pine Meadow Road) by 7:30 to watch the sunset and enjoy the transition through dusk into dark. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Bring a flashlight, lawn chair or blanket and an extra layer for possible spring breezes off the river. Event occurs even if some of the water is coming from the sky that evening, but heavy rain will cancel. Call 413-659-4461 after 5 p.m. that evening if weather is questionable. Would you like to be a water dancer? Dancers arrive at 3 p.m. on the afternoon of the event to learn simple choreography using illuminated hula hoops. Contact Phyllis Labanowski for details and to sign up by April 4. phyllislabanowski@comcast.net or 413-369-9985. All are welcome. There is no fee but donations are welcome.

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