Local Native American tribes call the June full moon the Strawberry Moon because it heralds the time of year to pick wild strawberries. Spend an evening walking in the warm air, listen to the dusk bird songs turn to choruses of spring peepers, and try to catch a glimpse of our resident wildlife as spring ripens into summer. We'll enjoy some strawberries and chocolate as a sweet treat to end the night.
Enjoy ongoing activities throughout the day at Mass Audubon's 20th Annual Audubon Nature Festival. This year's special feature will be live owl presentations by Marcia and Mark Wilson of Eyes On Owls. Come see live owls up close, learn about their natural history, and join in a hooting lesson.
Celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 3rd with a walk along some beautiful trails with ECTA and Ipswich River Watershed Association. Join ECTA Trail Steward Judi Milano and IRWA Executive Director Wayne Castonguay at 10am in the Bradley Palmer parking lot at 40 Asbury Street in Topsfield.
The walk will gather at the mounting block and go up the trail toward Asbury Street, across the road, across the fence and down to the river and the bridge. We turn left at the bridge and walk along the river for about a half mile to the Patton property where we go through the opening in their stone wall and walk back out to Asbury street along their fence. The walk will return to the Bradley Palmer lot through the Bradley Palmer trails.
Backpack Babies is a program that encourages caregivers to explore the natural world with their babies and toddlers. Bring your backpack/frontpack or jogging stroller and explore the meadows, forests, and wetlands with your baby in this four-session series. Each class will begin indoors with a nature book and a few lap rhymes, songs, and games about the topic of the day. Then we'll go outside for a closer look at nature's gifts with our:
Explore the wonders of spring in the enchanted woods of the sanctuary in this four-session series. We'll begin indoors with story, poetry, and imagination. Next we'll head out for a spring walk to awaken our sense of wonder. Along the way we will explore the miracle of new life in seeds and eggs, and observe insects, reptiles, birds, amphibians, mammals, and their habitats in the wild.
In every kind of weather, our favorite thing is to head outdoors to our spectacular local habitats! Each nature exploration will focus on the importance of a sense of place as we explore the ecology, sights, and sounds of our natural landscape. Wildlife, local and migrating birds, collecting techniques, and environmental awareness will be presented in a fun, energetic format that adults and children alike will enjoy. In this session, particitpants will explore the trails of Woodsom Farms with naturalists from Joppa Flats Education Center! .
Tompson Street Reservation in Gloucester, managed by Essex County Greenbelt Association, is full of rich and diverse wildlife habitat, as well as some spectacular views of Ipswich Bay. Come on this fun, full-day hike and learn about vernal pools and forest wildlife while we explore the glacial granite summit of Eagle Rock with other adventurous young adults. Don't forget a camera -- the views should be great!
Spring is the season when frogs, toads, and salamanders return to the wetlands to lay their eggs. After a short introduction in the Nature Center, where we will learn about the life cycles of these amazing creatures, we will search the sanctuary's wetlands and woodlands for salamanders and other amphibians on the move. If we're lucky, we might be able to catch a few to observe up close and then release. We'll also swing by our vernal pool, where we often find wood frog and spotted salamander eggs.
Each spring American woodcocks engage in one of nature’s most fascinating courtship displays. Here’s your chance to witness this “sky dance” up close and in-person! This program is appropriate for ages 8 and older. Meet the ranger on the deck of the visitor contact station at parking lot 1. Bring binoculars and a flashlight. Program is limited to 15 participants. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to the program start time. Preregistration required.
Take your 3-5 year old youngster on a good old fashioned nature discovery walk. Meet at the refuge visitor center before driving together to the head of the day's trail on the refuge (no parking fee charged). For each session, a refuge volunteer will lead the children and their caregivers on a walk to explore different aspects of the refuge: beach, dune, marsh, scrub forest, cranberry bog. Come dressed for the weather. If the weather is completely unsuitable for outdoor enjoyment, then an indoor program comprised of a story, activity and craft will be held at the visitor center instead.