June is unbelievably beautiful in Vermont. To add to our happiness, we have been able to open the Museum Wednesdays-Sundays, 10-4, which is so far working well. To add to the beauty of late spring around us, we’ve got a new art show, all about borders and boundaries, edges and exchanges.
Stop by to wander our trails, tour the show, and enjoy the respite offered by super-relaxed birding. What could be easier than sitting at our viewing window (or in our bird blind, or best yet, in the walk-in treehouse) and watching for birds, butterflies, and other fellow beings?
One of our favorite things to do is work with volunteers on special projects—regularly in the building and outside in the gardens, as well as special volunteer work parties before our “open season”. This year, unfortunately, the novel coronavirus interrupted this! But now we are open, so…
We would love to have volunteers in and around the Museum! This is completely up to you and what you find comfortable. As always, we have lots of projects and need your help!
Indoors, volunteers greet visitors, tend the gift shop, organize materials, record data, and help us clean.
Outside, there are opportunities for trail maintenance, collecting natural history data, sanding and painting, and weeding. We have a few projects that can be done off-site. We could also use the help of a carpenter. It is pretty easy to maintain social distancing and get fresh air while you do these!
If you are interested in volunteering this year, please call us at 802-434-2167. We look forward to hearing from you!
Borders: illusions than constrain us is our 2020 art show, where we invite creators and viewers to ask (and even answer) “What do borders mean for birds and which of these are constructs of our imagination?”
Thirty-six artists, photographers, and poets had their work selected for this year’s show. Creators include beginners and established professionals of all ages. Visitors are invited to explore the visual and written art at their own pace, to be inspired, to ask questions, and to browse through the book of artists’ statements.
Show is open through October • Included with Museum admission
Some originals are for sale, and some artists have prints, cards, and other items for sale in our gift shop as well.
About the theme “Borders: illusions that constrain us”
As you likely know, the Museum had to remain closed due to Covid-19. This was the first spring in 32 years where we didn’t open our doors on May 1. This was the first time since we started Early Birder Morning Walks (more than a decade ago!) that we couldn’t gather for to walk and watch spring migration together.
We have missed you! Although we were saddened to hear of people who were ill or lost their lives; we also are hugely grateful that, by all of us working together, we kept the numbers lower than they could have been. As the number of Vermont cases continues to be encouragingly small, the state is allowing some businesses to open (with restrictions in place).
This exhibit of Eastern Phoebes nesting sure puts us in mind of spring. And spring truly is here: a bit of mud, early leaves, returning migrants.
We look forward to the days when the dangers of this coronavirus are past or at least well-mitigated, and we can offer early morning bird walks again. In the meantime, please enjoy our records from our view-through-the-window, and take a turn on our trails yourself, if you can.
Well this was not the March we expected. Admittedly, the birds here seem quite unaffected.
We did keep observing birds from our windows and cams, just with fewer human friends (in person). Welcome back, Common Grackle and Song Sparrow!
We’ve rearranged our schedules and updated some policies to deal with COVID-19. Details soon! The birds are being fed less often, and we’d already changed what and where we’d fed them. (We do that each spring anyway, because the forests in Huntington do have bears and we’d prefer only smaller mammals take advantage of what the birds leave.)
Sometimes, a month with nothing unusual is really quite comforting.
But that was just old friends who are birds! For our human friends, in February we also shared programs about Kinglets, opened up for the Great Backyard Bird Count, painted signs, installed our Little Free Library, played Wingspan at the Museum, and hopefully inspired art! Of course, you’d have to look through the window the other wayto see most of those things (or come inside).
Built of an upcycled Wood Duck nesting box, the Birds of Vermont Museum’s Little Free Library (LFL) is now up and open to the public. It is easy to get to: on a shed wall near the entrance path to the Museum. In keeping with a nesting motif (that is, slightly hidden), and wishing to keep some of the weather off, volunteer Erny P., 85, attached our LFL under the shed’s eaves. Erny also did the remodeling of the box, adding a door and a shelf for smaller books. The clear window gives a sneak peek at what’s inside.
It’s been a somewhat snowy month (with what feels like big temperature swings and more thawing). This has made for lovely photos (check out our instagram), and not-too-troublesome road conditions for people coming to our events (a series of bird talks and a few walks). The feeders aren’t quiet, exactly, but they are slight less diverse. Still, it’s a joy to see turkey tracks when you go out in the morning to fill the feeders!