Trail Mix listings for Dec. 10, 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

Editor’s Note: Listings in Trail Mix are free. Email: outdoor@recorder.com. The deadline is Thursday by noon. Questions? Call 413-772-0261, ext. 276. Weather may cancel or force the rescheduling of some of these events.

Great Falls Discovery Center

Kidleidoscope Fridays: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Come each week to learn about our wildlife neighbors who share our home in the Connecticut River Watershed. Kidleidoscope is a free child-friendly, hands-on environmental experience for young children. Each topic includes a story, interactive activities and a craft to introduce you and your child to the natural world. Upcoming topics are ducks on Dec. 14, owls on Dec. 21 and winter birds on Dec. 28. For ages 3 to 6. For more information, call 413-863-3221.

“It’s a Wonderful Night in Turners Falls ... for the Birds!”: Friday, Dec. 14 from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meet in the Great Hall to craft bird feeders as part of “It’s a Wonderful Night in Turners Falls,” a town-wide RiverCulture event. For all ages. Free.

First Day Hike: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 1 to 3 p.m. Sign in at the Great Hall at 1 p.m. for a leisurely two-mile stroll down the Canalside Rail Trail. This family friendly hike follows a gentle route and provides an opportunity to discover abundant natural, historical and cultural features. Be prepared for cold weather; dress in layers and wear winter boots. Dogs are welcome on leashes. Afterward, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate in the Great Hall.

Northfield Mountain

“The Bald Eagle: The Natural History, Decline and Rebound of our National Symbol”: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5 to 6 p.m. This free illustrated program will focus on the life history of a magnificent bird with a wingspan of 7 feet and a nest that can weight 2,000 pounds. Learn about the decline and rebound of bald eagles as well as the status of their populations in Massachusetts and the Connecticut River Valley. Also find out the best places to look for bald eagles in winter and during breeding season. All ages are welcome. Call 800-859-2960 with questions.

Hilltown Land Trust

Nature Photo Contest: For the fourth year, the Hilltown Land Trust is holding a photography contest that focuses on nature in the hilltowns. This year’s theme is “The Amazing Life of Individual Trees.” People can submit up to two photographs taken in a rural western Massachusetts town, located west of the Connecticut River. The photos may be of a seed or nut when it begins to germinate, the twisted trunk of a dead tree, or any stage of life in between. One winner and one runner-up from each age category (adult and youth) will be printed and professionally framed by R. Michelson Galleries. All eligible submissions will be displayed along with the four framed winners, and there will be an opening reception at the Bullitt Reservation in Ashfield in late winter. High-resolution photos can be submitted online at hilltown-land-trust.org, where a full list of contest rules is also available. Submissions will be accepted through Dec. 15. With questions, call Susan Schroder at 413-628-4485, ext. 4, or email HLToutreach@thetrustees.org.

Athol Bird and Nature Club

2019 Calendar Available: The calendar, which was printed by Athol’s Highland Press, showcases photos from the North Quabbin region taken by club members. It also features nature notes with local information about bird migration, wildflowers, meteor showers, and other outdoors and wildlife information, as well as nature trivia and fun facts. The calendar is available at: Trailhead Outfitters and General Store, Quabbin Harvest and Mount Tully Kennels in Orange; Flowerland, Cornerstone Insurance, MacMannis Florist, North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce, Déjà Vu and North Quabbin Community Coalition, all in Athol; New Salem General Store in New Salem; Red Apple Farm in Phillipston; Country Kitchen in Templeton; Petersham Craft Center and Harvard Forest in Petersham; Hardwick Farmers Cooperative Exchange in Gilbertsville; Wendell Country Store in Wendell; Connecticut River Liquors in Turners Falls; and The Wine Rack and Ruggeri’s Discount Beverage and Redemption Center in Greenfield. For more information and online orders, visit atholbirdclub.org.

Hitchcock Center for the Environment

Homeschool Discovery Days: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on one Tuesday each month. Explore science and nature topics with Katie Koerten and Jeff Mazur, meet science experts and sometimes go on field trips. Upcoming topics include birds of winter on Dec. 11. Designed as a drop-off program for children ages 6 to 12. Limited to 12 participants per program. Register at bit.ly/2zoG5mh. $45 to $55.

Christmas Bird Count for Families and Kids: Sunday, Dec. 16, 2 to 4 p.m. The Christmas Bird Count is a 118-year-old event in which bird lovers of all ages and skill levels count all the birds they see in a 24-hour period in December. Includes an indoor program about how to recognize common birds, followed by an outdoor bird count facilitated by educator Katie Koerten. Koerten will report the data at the official CBC compilation meeting. To be held in the event of rain, snow or sleet. Binoculars welcome but not required. Sign-up at bit.ly/2QeSNuO is helpful but not required. Free.