Natural History Explorations

Our evening Natural History Programs are held during the summer months at the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library and other locations in the area. Evening programs are scheduled on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings, begin at 7:30PM and last approximately 1.5 hours. Check the calendar for details on upcoming program content and times.

Past Programs have included:

The Vital Shorelands: Little known facts and everyday acts that preserve Maine lakes, their wildlife and other benefits with Maggie Shannon, co-sponsored by GLLT and KLWA.

People often say it’s the little things that count in life, and that certainly applies to conserving the beauty, benefits and value of Maine’s irreplaceable great ponds. This talk may surprise you, and you will go home equipped with practical steps you can follow to protect and preserve lake water quality and the recreational benefits, wildlife habitat, community wellbeing, and home value that depend on it. Maggie Shannon runs the LakeSmart Program and handles Public Policy for the Maine Lakes Society.

Dragonflies and Damselflies with Brian Pfeiffer, sponsored by GLLT

Pick any scene from the drama of life on Earth: birth, growth, beauty, courtship, reproduction, murder. Find them all expressed in the lives of dragonflies and damselflies. Shakespeare could have written the script for these insects, and you can join the stage when naturalist and writer Bryan Pfeiffer dazzles us with vivid images and stories from nature to tell a 300-million-year-old story of these insects.

Reading the Rural Landscape with Dr. Robert Sanford, co-sponsored by GLLT and Sweden Historical Society

Common landscape features ranging from plants and trees to stone walls, cellar holes, and other altered landforms show the dynamics of human-influenced change in the countryside. As a society, we know a great deal about famous people, historical architecture and important events of the past, but we are surrounded by common, everyday features that also represent history. While these ordinary things may be in danger of becoming forgotten, they are accessible and interpretable if we take the time to look. This presentation is for anyone who is curious about the remnants and features of a bygone New England countryside. What are some common clues to the past? How do we read them? What can we find in our own backyards? We will focus on some typical features and techniques for interpreting them as we process the “language” of the land in rural Maine.

The Three Bears: Black, Grizzly and Polar with Professor Moira Yip, sponsored by GLLT

Our local black bears are one member of the genus Ursus, and this talk will compare them to their cousins, particularly the grizzly bear and the polar bear, and include brief forays further afield. Professor Moira Yip’s photography will astound you as she shares her experiences traveling to the habitat of and photographing some of these remarkable mammals.

Wild Turkeys are More than Just Big Chickens! with Bonny Boatman, sponsored by GLLT

Have you noticed all the wild turkeys strutting about our woodlands? That’s because they have had a remarkable comeback from near extinction since the early 1900s and now number in the millions. Did you know that you can distinguish a turkey’s sex by the shape of its poop? Come and hear Bonny Boatman give a lighthearted pictorial tour of facts and stories about this ubiquitous creature with which we share our outdoor space. Gobble gobble.

Efforts to Restore the American Chestnut to our Eastern Woodlands with Dr. Brian Roth, sponsored by GLLT

The goal of the American Chestnut Foundation is to restore this tree to eastern woodlands for the benefit of environments, wildlife and society. Dr. Roth, who joined the foundation in 2013 as a member of the Board of Directors for the Maine Chapter, will describe the group’s efforts, the important role this species once played in eastern forests, and their multiple efforts to restore it to its once widespread status.

Movie Night: “The Messenger” co-sponsored by GLLT and KLWA’s Climate Change Observatory

This documentary film explores our deep-seated connection to birds and warns that the uncertain fate of songbirds might mirror our own. Through fabulous photography, you’ll see that on one level, “The Messenger” is an engaging, visually stunning, emotional journey that mixes its elegiac message with hopeful notes and unique glances into the influence of songbirds on our own expressions of the soul. On another level, “The Messenger” is the artful story about the mass depletion of songbirds on multiple continents, and about those who are working to turn the tide. In ancient times humans looked to the flight and songs of birds to protect the future. Today once again, birds have something to tell us. Popcorn and lemonade will be served.

The Barns of Maine with Don Perkins, sponsored by GLLT

Don Perkins sees history and mystery inside Maine’s old barns. A self-described “barnologist,” Perkins is the author of the book The Barns of Maine: Our History, Our Stories, and will share insights of Maine’s barns from Arundel to Aroostook. Perkins’ presentation will also highlight Maine’s fascinating farming history and the unique aspects that shaped barns in various regions of our state. Signed copies of Perkins’ book will be available for purchase.

Connect To Our Natural World Through Poems And Short Prose: A Writing Workshop with Judy Steinbergh, sponsored by GLLT and Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library

A special introduction to the Hewnoaks Artist Colony to reflect on our connections to the landscape, elements, seasons and wildlife. With inspiration from our surroundings, and short pieces by poets and naturalists, we will draft our writing and share with the group. Ms. Steinbergh has led poetry workshops with adults and students for over forty years, and authored three poetry writing texts and five books of poetry.

Crows and Corvids by Bonny Boatman, sponsored by GLLT and Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library

Were you aware that crows can do the following: Remember individual human faces? Plan for the future and communicate complexities to each other? And make and share tools with one another? These are just a few examples of their extraordinary abilities.  Learn about this marvelous creature that literally lives among us. Through photographs, film, sounds and humor, you will begin to see the crow in a very different light.

Annual Education Meeting