Kids will get their hands dirty and dig into the science of soil at this April vacation session. Meet the critters of the sanctuary that call dirt home. Worms, millipedes, sow bugs, weasels, and voles are a few soil creatures that we will hope to see. Find out what it takes to make a garden grow, before preparing and planting your own take-home garden.
Topsfield, Massachusetts 01983
Kids will learn about the winged creatures that inhabit the sanctuary at this vacation week program. Spring is in full swing and all our flying friends are in a frenzy. If it has wings, we'll find it, and learn about the different ways creatures use their wings. Using binoculars, nets, and bug boxes, we'll take an up-close look at birds, dragonflies, butterflies, and other insects that make their homes at the sanctuary.
Spring is the season when frogs, toads, and salamanders return to the wetlands to lay their eggs. After a short introduction in our Nature Center where we will learn about the life cycles of these amazing creatures, we will search the sanctuary's wetlands and woodlands for amphibians on the move. If we're lucky, we might be able to catch a few of them! We'll also be sure to swing by our vernal pool where we should be able to find large masses of wood frog and spotted salamander eggs.
Each year on the first warm rainy night of spring, wood frogs and mole salamanders begin a mass migration to vernal pools where they breed. If you happen to be out on one of these evenings, the experience can be spectacular. Tonight, a part of the sanctuary will be transformed into a Big Night scene. Participants will take a one-hour guided walk along the Vernal Pool Trail, where they will meet some interesting characters who will share some facts and stories about themselves, vernal pools, and this special time of year.
Join watercolorist Brenda Sloane in a monthly program that combines nature and art. We will start with a walk on the sanctuary to observe the topic of the month. We will then return to the Nature Center to create a follow-up work of art.
During the warmer months of the year, we see insects all around us. But don't be fooled--even in March insects are still with us in one form or another. Become an insect detective and join us for a few "buggy" activities inside, and then we will take a walk to search for hibernating and even some active insects.
At this time of the year, the night sky is in transition. Although the winter constellations are still on prominent display, they are slowly making their way offstage to the west. Meanwhile, the stars of early spring are entering from the east. What causes this seasonal variation, what are some of the better known stars and constellations, and what celestial treasures are there for you to enjoy through a telescope? This evening's program is intended to help you find out.
Celebrate spring by building a bluebird house with your child. We’ll supply all the materials and instruction to build a nest box for bluebirds and tree swallows. These wonderful nest boxes also attract chickadees, tufted titmice, house wrens, and woodpeckers. A short slide presentation will introduce families to the natural history and behavior of birds in Massachusetts, and we’ll discuss where and how to place your nest box. Dress for the weather because we will take a short walk to look and listen for bluebirds.
Spring celebrations begin early at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary with the age-old tradition of maple sugaring. The warm days of late winter awaken the flow of sap in the maples, causing buds to swell and resulting in sweet-smelling billowing clouds of steam rising from the sugarhouse.
People of all ages enjoy learning about owls, and many species of owls can be found in Massachusetts year-round. Come experience the excitement of an owl prowl as we take a night hike to look and listen for barred, great horned, and eastern screech-owls. Before we head out on our nocturnal adventure, we'll learn fun owl facts in our cozy Barn through hands-on activities and a slide show. We'll end our evening with an owl-hooting lesson!