Tag Archives: Summer Camp

Highlights from Week 5 of the Wild at Art Camp: Butterfly Safari, Caterpillar Lab, and Nature CSI

It has been such a wonderful summer so far and I am so grateful for all the families that have sent their children to the Wild at Art camp this summer. We have been having a wonderful week at the end of July. On Monday, we talked about going on journey this week looking for spectacular “things.” Here are a few highlights from the week with all our spectacular findings.

Highlight #1: A visit from the amazing Caterpillar Lab!

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Highlight #2: Making spectacular wildlife discoveries with friends

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Highlight #3: Exploring in the brook for aquatic critters

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Highlight #4: Creating art and making friends

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Highlight #5: Exploring in the meadow

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Wild at Art Summer Camp – Highlights from Week 1

The first week of our 2017 summer camp season is off and running to a fantastic start. During the first week, the campers are learning about the ways birds and other animals fly, swim, and move. Here are a few of the highlights:

Highlight #1: Seeing larval salamanders and wood frog tadpoles at the vernal pool

Highlight #2: Creating Amazing Art with Lindsey Caputo (Art Educator)

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Highlight #3: Making Animal Themed Hats

Highlight #4: Hiking to the pine forest to see our “eagle’s nest”

 

Animal Acrobatics and Shapeshifting Flyers: Top Moments from Week 1

Our first week of summer camp has been off to a fantastic start, with lots of art, nature, science, and fun built in. Check back in during the week as this post will be updated each day or two.

Here are some of the top moments from camp this week!

Moment #1

Going on a dragonfly hunt!

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All the campers from the Animal Acrobatics and Art groups were thrilled to learn about and hunt for dragonflies in our meadow. One highlight for everybody was getting to hold onto a dragonfly and feel it’s Velcro like feet (tarsi).

Top Moment #2
Learning about and building nests

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Top Moment #3
Pin the stinger on the bee

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Top Moment #4
Exploring movement with charcoal

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Top Moment #5
Having fun with our amazing staff

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Top Moment #6
Printmaking with linoleum tiles

On Thursday, we were very excited to learn how to sketch out a print onto linoleum tile and learn how to safely use linocutting tools. The prints came out exquisite and everybody loved what they made. The detail and care taken into each art project was remarkable and inspiring.

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Gone ta Camp

This is from a series of posts by MABA resident artist Barry Van Dusen

Wildwood Camp, Rindge, NH on April 14, 2016

Palm Warbler sketch - at 72 dpi

Palm Warbler sketchbook study, pencil and watercolor, 6″ x 9″

Wildwood is a quiet, peaceful place in April.  The small, year-round staff is busy preparing for the arrival of campers in June, and things are looking ship-shape.   The floating docks are installed on the waterfront and in the empty cabins, the floors are swept clean and sleeping pads are turned up against the walls.  Almost 700 campers are already enrolled for the 2016 season – Wildwood will be a busy place this summer!

Hubbard Pond - at 72 dpi

The first thing I do is head for the waterfront and beach on Hubbard Pond.  The Wildwood camp is the only development on the entire pond.  Mass Audubon owns 159 acres and a good stretch of waterfront, but the remaining shores are all state owned parkland.  Needless to say, the view from the beach is scenic and unspoiled!

I watch an osprey make lazy circles over the pond before visiting the Nature Center cabin behind the Dining Hall.  Inside are intriguing objects like bird nests and mammal skulls!

Skulls, Wildwood - at 72 dpi

I make a drawing of an attractive little plant growing at the edge of the brook just east of the parking area.  I’m puzzled by its identity, so once again enlist Joe Choiniere for help.  He quickly identifies it as Golden Ragwort (Senecio aureus) and explains that some plants can be tricky to identify early in the year before they have put on their full growth.  Later in the year, this plant may be up to 30” high with showy yellow flowers on tall stalks!

Golden Ragwort study - at 72 dpi

sketchbook study, pencil, 3″ x 5″

Along the main entrance road I spy a tiny speck of powder blue flitting along the gravel roadside.  It’s a Spring Azure, my first of the season!  Azures are tiny butterflies (each wing about ½”long), and to draw or paint such a tiny creature with “naked eye” is more than my aging eyes can manage.  After chasing this azure up and down the roadside, it finally settles down and I approach cautiously on my knees, then my belly, to get some shots with my digital camera.  Digital cameras are excellent magnifying tools, granting me the opportunity to study the intricate detail of this tiny butterfly.

Spring Azure 2 - at 72 dpi

Spring Azure, watercolor on Arches hot-press, 8″ x 11″

The Azure group of butterflies continues to puzzle taxonomists, and most agree that what we call Spring Azure is actually a complex of three or more species.  The true “Spring Azure” that emerges in early spring has three distinct forms, and the one I’m watching is the palest and most lightly marked form “violacea”.  Spring Azures have an endearing habit of rubbing their hind wings together, alternately up and down.  In my painting, this action reveals just a glimpse of that azure blue upper surface of the wing, for which the species is named.

On the trail to First Point, I follow a palm warbler along the edge of the water.  It flits just ahead of me all down the shore, then gives up the game and flies up to perch on a hemlock bough.  I get my scope on it right away, and can’t believe my luck when it continues to sit quietly for almost ten minutes while I sketch and take pictures.   It’s not often you get this much “scope time” on a wood warbler!

Palm Warbler in Hemlock - at 72 dpi

Palm Warbler in Hemlock, watercolor on Arches cold-press, 9″ x 12″

While eating lunch out on First Point, I gaze up at a big red spruce heavy with cones against a deep blue sky.   Red Spruce is not a common tree in central and eastern Massachusetts, and this tree carries with it a strong flavor of the Northwoods.  Picking out a section of boughs with my scope, I decide to do a quick and rather crude study that nonetheless captures the impression of the moment.

Spruce Branches and Cones 2 - at 72 dpi

Spruce Branches and Cones, watercolor on Arches hot-press, 11″ x 9″

Whooooos coming!!! Owls that’s who!

Fun for the whole family! On Saturday March 19, from 1-4pm, explore the wonders of owls as the Museum of American Bird Art (MABA) host our popular Owls Live! festival. Be amazed when you see owls up close, explore the sanctuary, and create art. Drop in any time between 1 and 4pm on Saturday for Owls Live! The cost of admission is $5 per person and all ages are welcome. The museum is located on Washington Street in Canton directly across from Canton High School. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our events and news.

Long-eared Owl. Photo Credit: Shawn Carey

Long-eared Owl. Photo Credit: Shawn Carey

 See Owls Up Close!

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Activities include owl cookie decorating, face painting, and making owl masks.

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Our Owl Quest will encourage visitors to follow a set of clues in the exhibition gallery and around the 121 acre wildlife sanctuary to learn more about owls and the wonders of spring. Raffle baskets will include a week of the Wild at Art summer camp, Mass Audubon family membership and fun pack, and a framed print by MABA benefactor Mildred Morse Allen with the framing donated by the Village Gallery in Canton. Tickets to the event include admission to the current exhibition, Life on the Leaf Edge, Photographs of Native Caterpillars by Sam Jaffe

Proceeds from the Owls Live! Festival support MABA’s Wild at Art summer camp. Families will have an opportunity to meet MABA’s camp director, Sean Kent, and senior staff. You can learn about the upcoming camp season, which is designed to engage campers in the discovery and stewardship of nature and encourage artistic expression. Sean is an experienced and skilled educator who has worked with elementary through college age students in both formal and outdoor settings.

Check out last year’s camp!

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Top Moments from the Earthworks Camp Week

All the campers have been having a fantastic time this week, playing games, creating art inspired by our natural landscape, and exploring the sanctuary…with many special trips to the brook to catch crayfish and check on their crayfish houses. Here are some of the top moments from the week:

Moment #1: Weaving in the trees with natural materials

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Moment #2: Building with natural materials

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Moment #3: Exploring the brook and putting out crayfish houses

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Moment #4: Learning about and building bird nests

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Moment #5: Creating Nature Journals

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Moment #6: Stacking rocks

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Moment #7: Creating mobiles for the art show

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Connecting Art with Nature: Highlights from our Wild Photography Week

Campers have been having a great week during the Wild Photography Camp session. We’ve been having lots of fun learning about photography, creating art, and exploring the sanctuary. Check out our post on the campers building the cameras. Here are the top moments from the week:

Moment #1: Painting with light (seriously)

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Moment #3: Silkscreen and watercolor of an Audubon Owl Print

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Moment #3: Nature hikes and photo scavenger hunts

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Moment #4: Collagraphic printmaking with natural materials

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Moment #5: Creating paintbrushes out of natural materials to paint a wall mural

 

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Moment #6: Creating Audubon prints and then visiting the permanent collection to learn more about printmaking

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Moment #7: Creating photo stories in the bird and pollinator garden

 

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Wild Photography: Campers learn, create, and express themselves through digital photography

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Learn, Create, and Express! Today, we kicked off our Wild Photography week at the Wild at Art Summer Camp. Campers spent the morning building their own digital camera, which they will use during the week to learn more about the art of photography. Camper build and use a bigshot camera, which was developed by Shree Nayar, a computer science professor at Columbia University.

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By building the camera, they will learn about how gears work, how power is generated, and the physics behind digital photography. Check out this gallery of the cameras being put together:

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Connecting art with nature: Top moments from the Take Flight (Week 2) Camp Session

Campers have been having a great week during the Take Flight session. We’ve been having lots of fun learning about birds, creating bird inspired art, and exploring the sanctuary. During the week, campers loved our visit from the internationally renowned Caterpillar Lab from Keene, New Hampshire, and printmaking workshop with the amazing Sherrie York. Here are the top moments from the week:

Moment #1: Fantastic Charcoal Drawings with our artist Katie Buchanan

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Moment #2: Collecting natural materials for leaf prints in their nature journal

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Moment #3: Nature Hikes and Scavenger Hunts

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Moment #4: Creating art using the process of suminagashi

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Moment #5: Visit from Sherrie York

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Moment #6: Excitement with the Caterpillar Lab

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Printmaking with Sherrie York at the Wild at Art Summer Camp

Excitement permeated through the Wild at Art Summer Camp on Thursday July 17 because artist Sherrie York, an internationally renowned printmaker, stopped by and taught all the campers a little about the art of printmaking.

Since this was during the Take Flight week, all the campers made prints that were inspired by the different textures of bird feathers. Each group of campers started off in our fantastic exhibition “The Birds of Trinidad and Tobago” and looked at the different types of feathers found on the different birds. Next, they created a relief print on foam board and then created ink prints. Check out all the fun.

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Campers with Sherrie York checking out the different types of feathers

Creating Relief Prints

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Creating Prints

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The Finished Product!

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