The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most prolific of the annual meteor showers, rivaling in strength the better-known Perseid meteor shower of mid-August. This year, the Geminids reach maximum activity on the night of December 13, when as many as 120 shooting stars might be seen each hour under clear skies far removed from city lights and completely free of light pollution. We'll meet several days ahead of the peak activity to discuss the general nature of meteor showers, their origins, and the best ways to observe them. Weather permitting, we'll step outside afterward in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the Geminid shower in its early stages. There will also be viewing of the night sky through a large reflector telescope.
Celebrating the winter solstice goes back 5,000 years. Join the Trustees to light up the night with a Solstice stroll and celebration at Ward Reservation. Participants will meet in the parking lot for a guided candlelit walk through the woods that will include presented passages from the story "The Shortest Day" by Wendy Pfeffer. After hiking to the top of Holt Hill, which at an elevation of 420 feet above sea level is the highest point in Essex County and offers views of the Boston skyline and even the Blue Hills, the celebration will commence with a gathering around the solstice stones at Holt Hill's summit.
Come celebrate the longest night and shortest day of the year with Joppa Flats! Miss Mary and Miss Susan offer stories, songs, crafts made of evergreens, and thematic snacks for everyone to enjoy. Learn why we have seasons, and why different cultures around the world created legends and rituals to mark the longest night of the year. Join us for a festival of light to beckon the sun to return!
Using teamwork and problem solving, we will explore the woodlands of the sanctuary and imagine that we are explorers stranded in the wilderness. In order to survive, we will need to build shelters, collect firewood, and find food and a water source. We will end by roasting marshmallows over a fire and trying out some pine needle tea.
Brighten up your yard this winter with a bird feeder handmade by you and your child. Each family will receive a kit containing all the necessary parts to build a feeder that will attract chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, and many other birds to your yard. A short slide presentation will highlight the birds that commonly come to feeders. We'll also observe the sanctuary feeders to see which birds are looking for food. Instructors will circulate to provide assistance.
Join naturalists from Joppa Flats Education Center on a nocturnal hike and learn about nocturnal animal senses, the moon, and the stars! We'll go on a short walk to Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm's back field to stargaze before returning to Joppa Flats' back yard for hot cocoa around the fire pit.
Throughout time, people have come together to celebrate the shortest day of the year and welcome the lengthening days ahead. Sanctuary staff and volunteers invite you to join us for this beautiful candlelit event. Lantern making begins at 4:00 pm, followed by some solstice stories and folklore. With lanterns in hand, we will stroll the trails to light up the night. We will serve hot cider and cocoa at the bonfire on our return.
You’ll feel better about that Thanksgiving indulgence if you come join us for a hike over the Blueberry and Moon Hills of Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield! Best for children ages 7 and up. We will be hiking for a couple of hours on moderate trails. Wear clothing for hiking; bring rain gear as appropriate. Only pouring rain cancels.
Join The Trustees of Reservations as they celebrate the November Beaver Moon! Also called the Frosty Moon, this full moon heralds the coming winter, and serves as a warning that ponds and swamps will soon freeze. Beavers are particularly active around this moon, storing food and making repairs to their lodge. Native American tribes knew this moon appeared when it was time to set beaver traps to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.
Tuesday, December 11
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