May Happenings at Moose Hill

It’s May! Cavity Nest citizen scientist volunteers are busy monitoring the cavity nests in our fields while overhead the tree swallows swoop about the field and bluebirds and chickadees watch from their perches on branches. The male turkeys are puffing out their feathers, spreading out their tales and dragging their wings in a display for the females and many a visitor. Killdeer are protecting their nests in the fields as we carefully plant and weed around them on our farm. And each week we are seeing and hearing spring migrants in our forest and fields. Spring is definitely in the air!

Killdeer in the farm fields

After a rainy April, our trails can be muddy and the water on often dry streams are flowing, but that doesn’t stop us from getting outside and exploring as the sanctuary shakes off the winter. The trees are leafing out, the ferns are emerging from dormancy and unfurling along the trails, beautiful flowers are opening in the gardens and the fields, and the farm is being planted and weeded as we prepare for the summer harvest. May is the perfect time to join us for a program – grab a friend or two and register early to secure your spot and help us plan for the day.

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 and we pro-rate for sessions already started!

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!

Moose Hill Walkers – it’s back; time to kick off the winter, get outside and take a hike with Ms. Patti every Monday morning. Come learn the trails at Moose Hill so that you can explore on your own!

Early Morning Birding – bird migration is here. Bring your binoculars and join Vin as you head out in search of spring migrants – all birding levels are welcome from beginner to expert!

Pileated woodpecker

May 4: Saturday Morning Hike – join Teacher Naturalist Julia for a hike that focuses on the changing seasons, local geology, conservation, and Moose Hill quests.

May 4: Firefly Watch Citizen Science; Learn to Study Fireflies at Home – there are more than 150 species of fireflies in North America. Come and learn about fireflies and how your observations can help scientists map fireflies – besides, it’s fun for the whole family!

May 4: Star Gazing Nights – join astronomers from the Astronomical Society of Southern New England for a look at the stars and other night objects through their big telescopes. Be sure to call ahead to make sure the program is running – the weather and sky conditions dictate if this program runs.

May 5: Sunday Saunter; Spring Wildflowers and Neotropical Migrants – take a gentle saunter along the trails of Moose Hill with staff Teacher Naturalist Michael to experience nature through the seasons. This month the focus is on the wildflowers and spring migrants at Moose Hill.

May 10-11: Bird-a-thon! – team Moose Hill is ready to head out and bird for 24-hours in this annual fundraising tradition. Support our team’s efforts to bring home the trophy once again for most species identified in 24-hours by donating today. Our efforts and your donation provide critical funds for the conservation work and educational programming at Moose Hill. We thank you for your donation!

May 12: Mother’s Day Breakfast – celebrate Mother’s Day at Moose Hill with a morning hike followed by a hearty pancake breakfast! Hikes begin at 8 am, 9 am, 10 am, or 11 am. Register early to secure your spot for the day.

May 12 and 26: Forest Bathing Half Day Retreat – a slow-paced guided therapeutic experience promotes wellness through a series of gentle sensory-opening invitations that welcome us to notice more of our natural surroundings.

May 18: Salamanders and Citizen Science – learn about our different salamander Citizen Science research projects and practice the protocol yourself. We will hike to the vernal pool and check on some of our cover boards as we search for salamanders at Moose Hill.

Red-backed salamander

May 18: Full Moon Hike – discover the beauty of Moose Hill under a shining full moon with Miss Patti!

May 19: Family Nature Exploration Sundays – explore the wonders of nature as a family as we observe, explore, and discover what is happening in our red maple swamp.

May 20: Moose Hill Mondays – this drop off program for children ages 3-5 years will focus this month on insect investigations with outdoor exploration and play.

May 22: Nature Nerd Trivia Night – don’t miss out on this Trivia Night, our last one until the fall. Learn about the passions of Moose Hill staff and their curiosity. The night is always filled with laughter, discussion, learning and fun!

Is pre-scheduling your time hard to do? You can always come and enjoy a hike on our trails between 7 am and 7 pm (when our parking lot is unlocked) – make sure to wear the proper footwear and have your water! During this time of year the trails can be wet and muddy; the boardwalk in our red maple swamp on the Billings Trail is still flooded – 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 and the focus this month will change from maple sugaring to vernal pools! 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 Mr. Turtle is just looking for visitors – this red eared slider has been a part of Moose Hill for 4 years now; read more about why we have him when you visit! 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 artisan products, water bottles, baseball caps, bird feeders, bird seed, and more. If you haven’t been to the Gift Shop lately, stop in and see the newest selection of items we have just waiting for you. And, save the date – we will feature our local artisans with a fair on June 8; come and meet the people and learn more about their craft.

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! Pick-up options available Monday, Wednesday, or Friday evenings from 4-7 pm at our Farm Barn in Sharon or Thursday evening from 3:30-6:30 pm at our sister sanctuary, Boston Nature Center, in Mattapan.

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 June and beyond – there’s always something happening. Wishing for a particular program? Tell us, we might be planning it for the future!

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Learn about programs, see the beauty of Moose Hill and experience the fun we have!

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