Flooding, thanks to Hurricane Beryl

We hope you and yours are safe from the recent flooding due to Hurricane Beryl. For those who have experienced loss, our hearts go out to you. Our Treehouse, Bird Blind, and benches in the “garden” offer places to rest and find respite.

The museum and its grounds are resilient. The good news is that the museum building, the entrance bridge, culvert area, and step-pools in the tributary to Sherman Hollow Brook are undamaged and intact. The Treehouse, picnic areas, pond, Story trail, and the Bird Blind all are fine. Come and walk or sit whenever you need to.

This is not the first time we’ve had to deal with flood damage. We thank everyone who was part of the Bridges to Birds reconstruction in 2013-2015 for their amazing generosity and superb work: volunteers, donors, John Scott Excavating, Dean Grover Engineering, Timber and Stone LLC, and Anne Dannenberg. They created the entrance bridge, the rain garden, the step-pools in the tributary to Sherman Hollow Creek, and the pollinator plantings that protect the slopes. All of that handled the heavy flows of water as intended, demonstrating how a resilient design can cope with a changing climate.

Other parts of our property were not so fortunate. On the south side, we have obvious trail damage on portions of the Spear trail, and we have not had a chance to look at its upper reaches yet. We may need to reroute segments of the trail, build waterbars, or do other erosion repair and prevention. At least one of the “Birders’ Shortcut” trails needs repair and restoration of the boardwalks. Both trails can be walked with caution.

The Discovery trail is damaged and portions are inaccessible—it lost both foot bridges, has a deeper and broader gully, and the further portions are cut off. This trail is now closed.

The biggest challenge is Bob’s Bridge. This is the access to the north side of the property—the 60 acres on the other side of Sherman Hollow Brook. The trail to “Bob’s Bridge” has eroded significantly, most noticeably where it met Bob’s Bridge. The footings of Bob’s Bridge have been displaced. The bridge is balanced unevenly on a corner. As of right now, the bridge can not be used, and there is no access to the property on that side of the stream.

We don’t yet know the condition of the trails on the north side of the property. Our rentable cabin (Gale’s Retreat) appears fine, but there’s no way for renters to access it right now, which eliminates that revenue source until access is restored.

So what are we doing now? Staff and volunteers are checking the trails, taking photos, measuring gullies and writing up damage reports. We will be meeting with Timber and Stone next week to assess what we can do.

We are protecting the public by closing off the trail to Bob’s Bridge and the entire north section of the property, and have closed Gale’s Retreat via Vermont Huts for the next four weeks while we make a plan for reconstruction.

We are asking you to help in any way that works for you.

Visit the museum. The treehouse and side gardens were undamaged and are lovely spots for a picnic. The Museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays 10-4 (normal hours).

Help others. We know there are many individuals in Vermont who have also lost much, and we want them to recover too.

Donate if you can. Whether we do minimal repairs, build for a resilient future like we did in 2013, or something in-between, we’ll need financial support.

Stay in touch. We may need volunteers; we may need planners, engineers, donors, grants, and more. We will write to you, update our website, and post on front porch forum. We’ll tell you more as we learn more.

Other good news: there are lots of butterflies and other pollinator at the flowers, and the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers nesting just off the parking lot recently fledged!

Through the Window: June 2024

Eastern Phoebe pair at nest, woodcarving by Bob Spear
Eastern Phoebe pair at nest. This woodcarving by Bob Spear is on display in our Nesting Bird Gallery.

This is a strangely short list. We did limit feeding until late in the month due to nearby bear sightings. And I know we were more likely outside when looking at and for birds in June. (I mean, how can you resist June? Except for that weirdly horribly hot week.) Of course, it’s also possible the birds were very busy elsewhere. Because June!



June Bird List

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The Power of Perspective | 2024 community art show

A hawk is silhouetted against a pale sky, seen from beneath flowers. Title: Hunter. Fabric, embroidery by Sarah Ashe. Copyright © 2024 and used with permission. #PowerOfPerspective

The Power of Perspective: shifting points of view

The Birds of Vermont Museum has been hosting themed community art shows since 2014. Each winter, the staff develops a bird-related theme for the exhibit and invites submissions in varied media: visual arts, the written word, sculpture and more.

Our 2024 art show, The Power of Perspective: shifting points of view, poses and answers questions of how our bodies, ideas, and assumptions might alter or affect what we perceive, think about, imagine, and understand about birds.
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July 2024 events

An older person and younger person smile through circular openings in a large painted signboard. The board says 'Having a BEE-utiful Day at the Birds of Vermond Museum'. The openings are the centers of two big yellow flowers; other flowers, a monarch butterfly, and a honeybee are painted on the board.

On beyond birds! Birds are not alone on the world, so take some time to explore other creatures of beauty, purpose, and oddity. Come to a butterfly (and other bugs) walk with the Vermont Entomological Society. Meet artists at the Power of Perspective reception. And of course, end the month with the bird monitoring walk.

The Museum is open Wednesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm (but we are closed July 4th). The trails are open sunrise to sunset, every day. Libraries have passes, and admission is always free for members (https://birdsofvermont.org/membership/).


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Through the Window: May 2024

Black and WHite Warbler, photographed by Hans Nedde; copyright © 2024 and used with permission. A small bird with black and white patterned plumage and a narrow pointed black beak. It has a black cap, white brow line, and white belly, as well as black-and-white sides, flanks, wings. It is perched on a twig, and the background is a mottled pale white-gray-green (as if out of focus).
Black and White Warbler. Photo © by Hans Nedde and used with permission.

We had a surprise visitor one day in May! This little fellow confused the Black-capped Chickadee by pulling fibers from a hanging plant basket that the chickadees often use (for the same purpose).

Many thanks to our intern Hans for the photo. Read on for a really incredible bird list this month!

May Bird List

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May 2024 events

5 people (seen from back) birding with binoculars in a ferny clearing in a spring forest

New ways of seeing and thinking about birds: our “Power of Perspective” community art show is open! Plus, we invite you to join birding walks, explore spring ephemerals, and consider wood carving this May at the Birds of Vermont Museum.

The Museum is open Wednesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm. The trails are open sunrise to sunset, every day. Libraries have passes, and admission is always free for members (https://birdsofvermont.org/membership/).

=== MAY EVENTS ===

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