Are you starting to notice any changes? Groundhog Day marked the halfway point between the winter solstice and the the vernal equinox. The winter solstice, for us here in Massachusetts and in the Northern Hemisphere, is when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the sun and we experience our shortest daylight of the year. The vernal equinox is when the center of the sun is directly above the equator and usually marks the beginning of spring.
No matter how you look at this month, we are starting to see changes. Some birds are beginning to establish their territories and we hear an increase in some song chatter. The days have been getting longer, and here at Moose Hill, the sap has begun to flow for the sugaring season!
Regardless of the temperature – be it cold or a warm snap – we always look forward to getting outside and exploring Moose Hill. Check out what’s happening this month.
Knee High Naturalists – want your 3-5 year old to have a little more nature in their day? Miss Patti and our youngest naturalists will explore Moose Hill – each week will have a new nature- or science-related theme. We still have spaces in either the Tuesday or Thursday morning sessions. Come once a week or come twice – the activities on each day will complement the other day!
Fledgling Fridays – spend some great quality time with your child. Create art, participate in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) activities, listen to stories, and explore the outdoors every Friday afternoon. This hands-on, nature-based learning program is designed for children ages 3-5 with an adult. Each Friday we will have a different theme focusing on sensory development. Come for one, or come for all of them!
February 10: Brunch with the Eagles – travel with sanctuary directors Doug Williams and Karen Stein as we head to the Connecticut River in Essex. This day trip is all about the eagles and brunch at the historic Griswold Inn. Last year was an amazing year for spotting eagles (and lots of other birds), plus we had great conversations along the way.
February 10: Sunday Saunter – experience Moose Hill with staff Teacher Naturalist Michael. Your curiosity, along with Michael’s knowledge and energy, will make for a great day exploring!
February 13: Nature Nerd Trivia Night – Shawn and Julia have been busy preparing the next round of trivia questions. Grab a friend or two, or sign up on your own and make some new friends on another Wednesday night at Moose Hill! This 21+ event is always full of laughter and learning.
February 18-22: February Vacation Days – sign up for one day or the whole week. Each day has a topic of focus and, weather permitting, we will spend as much time outside exploring as we can!
February 25: Moose Hill Mondays – not quite ready to commit to Knee High Naturalists but still want an opportunity to add some outdoor time to your child’s day? This monthly drop-off program for children ages 3-5 will feature a new seasonal nature theme each month with plenty of outdoor exploration/play complimented with indoor activities and crafts. Morning or afternoon programs available!
Not sure you want to pre-schedule your time? You can always come and enjoy a hike on our trails between 7 am and 5 pm – make sure to wear the proper footwear and have your water! During the winter months use caution as trails, walkways, boardwalks, and play areas as they may be icy. The boardwalk in our red maple swamp on the Billings Trail is flooded and often icy – please avoid that section!
When you come, be sure to stop in the Nature Center and check out our Discovery Room – there are a number of touch tables to explore. I notice: what details do you notice about the items on the tables? I wonder: when you look at the items, what questions do you have? It reminds me of: do these items look like any other things you are familiar with?
Continue to the Blue Room where, coming soon, you can see pictures taken by sanctuary staff as they have been out and about exploring and teaching at Moose Hill. On your way to the Blue Room, be sure to stop and take a selfie at the Moose Antlers – if you line yourself up just right, you can capture yourself with a great Moose rack (don’t forget to tag us if you get a great photo; we want to see how much fun you are having)!
And be sure to check out our updated Gift Shop – honey from our fields, rocks and minerals, local artist pictures and products, water bottles, baseball caps, bird feeders, bird seed, and more. We also have a new collection of items arriving near the end of the month as we welcome some new artists and their works on sale here at Moose Hill. Stop in and see the selection.
Are you daydreaming about summer? The Farm at Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary runs a summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with fresh, organic vegetables over 18 weeks. Registration for this program is now open; register before February 28, 2019 and take advantage of early bird pricing!
Thinking about summer camp? Registration is open for our 70th summer of day camp fun. It will be another great summer with a few new programs!
No matter how you spend your time with us at Moose Hill – we look forward to seeing you here, exploring the nature of Massachusetts at our sanctuary!
Already looking ahead to what’s next? Check out all our upcoming programs starting in March and beyond – there’s always something happening. And, remember, March is sugaring month. Register early to secure your spot in our Sugaring Weekends and check out the new programs developed as we celebrate our sweetest season! Wishing for a particular program? Tell us, we might be planning it for the future!