January feels like I’m standing at the very top of a pristine sledding hill: crisp, white, and waiting to go rocketing down. The air nips at your cheeks, and the glorious sunshine makes the snow sparkle. This is no time to be hibernating. There are so many ways to explore winter outside at our Centers in Holden and Falmouth!
Got kids? Our weekly Family Fun program for ages 2-5 starts up again in Falmouth on Tuesday, January 8th, with sessions beginning at new times: 9:30 and 10:45 am. Family Fun also returns to Fields Pond on Thursdays beginning on January 10. For both programs, siblings under 2 are free and drop-ins are welcome if we have space.
Also returning for a winter session for teens and tweens, the Ecology Club offers students fun activities to explore the local ecosystems and their environment in a fun, experiential, and interactive way. Each week will focus on a new exploration that may include snow science; hiking, snowshoeing, and exploring; animal tracking; winter habitat study; and animal and plant adaptation to the cold and snow. Sign up for one Tuesday afternoon session (3:30-5:30 pm) or more. Scholarships are available for those interested in signing up for three or more club meetings.
The Fields Pond Audubon Center will be hopping with activity this winter. Manager David Lamon will lead a six-week discussion course called “Reconnecting with Earth” that aims to help participants explore how our cultural beliefs and personal values affect the way we view and treat Earth. Together, the group will discuss how our well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of our planet. This begins Monday, January 7, at 6:30 pm.
Join Maine Master Naturalist Andrea Lani for a day of winter nature journaling on Saturday, January 12. The workshop will begin indoors with some basic instruction, then venture out to explore the Fields Pond property. The class will be using a variety of journaling techniques that will help us truly see the natural world, practice describing nature using all of our senses, and write our way into stories about the winter world around us. No experience with sketching or journaling necessary!
You can involve the whole family in “Who Goes There?” an animal tracking workshop on Thursday evening, January 17 — then put that information to work at Winter Tracking in the Field and go out on the Fields Pond trails on Saturday, January 19. All ages are encouraged, but come bundled for the weather on Saturday as the two hour class will be outside.
Our renowned Speaker Series returns on Thursday, January 24, at 7 pm in Falmouth, with “Wildlife 911.” Join Center for Wildlife Executive Director Kristen Lamb for a look inside a wildlife medical clinic and education center. Through live animal ambassadors, x-rays, photographs, and storytelling, participants will learn about real-time challenges our wildlife face, such as societal empathy on the decline, rapidly changing climate, and development/habitat loss. This event is 21+ and sponsored by Allagash Brewing and Chickadee Wines. We expect a sell-out crowd, so get your tickets early!
To round out the month, on Saturday, January 26, The Nature Store at Gilsland Farm presents a Bird Feeding Celebration — a day-long event to spotlight the National Bird Feeding Month of February. From a single window feeder to an array of hanging styles, we have something for every yard. Learn tips on how best to set up your space, hear talks from experts throughout the day, and ask questions of our knowledgeable staff. Representatives from the Aspen Song Wild Bird Food Co. will be on hand to share insights on seed blends and which species they attract.
Also on Saturday, January 26, from 1-3 pm, come meet the latest artist in the Gilsland Farm Gallery, John Knight. His exhibition, “Growing at your Feet,” features bright acrylic paintings of local plants and wildflowers — some found right at the sanctuary in Falmouth where he has been known to set up an easel!
Naturally, February begins with groundhogs. We’re offering a Groundhog Eve talk at Fields Pond in Holden, and a Groundhog Day celebration at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth (home to many a groundhog). And don’t forget, February Vacation is just around the corner. Register for our Vacation Camps today!
Our sanctuaries (all 8!) are open for visitors dawn to dusk every day. Bring the kids, walk around, look for birds and animal tracks, and spend time outside together. We hope to see you in 2019!