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October 2020

Online Course: Drawing Nature with Rachel Mirus

October 6 @ 12:00 AM - November 30 @ 11:30 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
$60

Close observation can inspire wonderful works of imagination. This course will begin with observational drawing, which combines visual observation and drawing technique to build the keen observation skills foundational for both artists and naturalists. Using example plant and animal groups, we will review growth and body patterns, learning through drawing. We will introduce field sketching, grayscale and color drawing, and watercolor layer technique. The course will culminate with examples and projects in imaginative nature art, launching you into your own nature illustrating journey!

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Turning Stones: Exploring Aquatic Invertebrates with Declan McCabe – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

October 21 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We’ll explore the ecology and basic identification of freshwater macroinvertebrates and where to see them. The talk will cover inexpensive and home-made sampling gear, and the major groups of macroinvertebrates commonly found in Vermont’s streams, ponds, and Lake Champlain. Sampling techniques for biomonitoring and/or teaching will be covered. The talk will include information of value for parents, teachers, fly anglers, and nature study fans. This talk is sponsored in part by Vermont EPSCoR.

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Fishes of Vermont: Confessions of an Ichthyologist with Doug Facey – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

October 28 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

We will take a brief tour of some of the major groups of fishes of Vermont, including discussions of diversity, biology, and ecology of some of these groups.  Why does Vermont have more species of freshwater fishes than other New England states? Which fish in Vermont is born in the Sargasso Sea? Which is carefully described in Samuel de Champlain’s diary? Which fish have a lung-like structure that allows them to breathe air? Join us for answers to these and other fishy questions.

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November 2020

Wild Apples: making the most of the feral apple harvest with Matt Kaminsky – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

November 18 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

In this presentation we will discuss the history and resource of wild apple trees and the many forms that Malus manifests in. This workshop is aimed at giving audience members a background to what exactly makes an apple "wild," and we'll touch on techniques for how to identify, effectively harvest, assess and grade, and steward & perpetuate the bountiful gift of wild apples in our landscape.

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December 2020

Slugs, Seed Dispersers, & Stone Walls: Community Ecology of Northeastern Herbaceous Flora with Nathan Kiel – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

December 2 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Every spring, naturalists seek the friendly faces of Spring Beauty, Red Trillium, and Bloodroot as symbols of warming temperatures and lengthening days. These dense carpets of herbaceous plants  in the forest floor comprise the majority of vascular plant biodiversity in the north woods. Yet past agricultural activity and other contemporary factors have left many modern forests without these plants, and with little opportunity for natural reestablishment. In this presentation, learn about the little-known ecosystem of dispersers, pollinators, seed thieves, and the other characters involved in the ecology of spring ephemerals. We'll discuss factors affecting plant distribution on the landscape, and explore current research and restoration initiatives around eastern forests.

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From ‘Sangers to Sochan: Plant Gathering in the Southern Appalachian National Parks with Maria Dunlavey – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

December 9 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

In the botanical wonderland of the Southern Appalachians, plant poaching is a very real threat. It's also a reflection of how important plants are to the people who live here — providing food, medicine, and income, not to mention cultural connection and belonging, for everyone ranging from the Cherokee to white settlers to newly arrived immigrants. But overharvest threatens to wipe out some species, like ginseng and ramps, even on the protected landscapes of the national parks. How can the parks keep their plant populations safe? And is there any role for cultural harvest inside their boundaries?

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January 2021

Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist with Donald Kroodsma – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

January 13, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Once you are attuned, every singing bird becomes interesting. There’s never “just a robin,” for example, or chipping sparrow, or whatever it is that you’re listening to. No, there’s more to be heard-- something beyond the ID that can forever captivate the curious listener. As a result, you’re never “done” with birds, never done listening to the most common of birds, such as . . . robins, thrushes, sparrows, chickadees, blackbirds, buntings, starlings, mockingbirds, thrashers, tanagers, wrens, grosbeaks, cardinals, and, oh my, warblers galore . . . you name it. Not a bad bird anywhere. Each one captivating. Somehow, sadly, we’ll have to limit the number of performers to fit into the confines of the allotted time.

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Birds, Bees, Bats, and Bugs: Why Animals Make and Use Sound with Laurel Symes – Naturalist Journeys Online Presentation Series

January 20, 2021 @ 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

This engaging and accessible presentation will delve into the world of animal sound to explore how and why animals produce sound. Using examples from crickets to whales, we will discuss animal sounds that are too fast for us to follow, sounds that are too high for us to hear, and sounds that take hours or days to finish. The talk will include many opportunities to listen to animal sound and will include examples from far away and close to home.

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