Ongoing: Storytime in the Nestlings Nook

Join us for stories about birds and more. Intended for pre-schoolers but all ages are welcome. Stories are followed by a craft project, music or nature walk, depending on the topic and the weather. Got a favorite book about birds? Share it with us!

Free with admission; donations welcome • Pre-registration is not necessary

Summer storytime dates:
Tuesday, June 10  •  10:30am – 11:30am
Tuesday, July 8 •  10:30am – 11:30am
Tuesday, August 12 •  10:30am – 11:30am

Storytime in the Nestlings Nook at the Birds of Vermont Museum
Storytime in the Nestlings Nook, second Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

 

 

Call to Artists: Perilous Passages

The Birds of Vermont Museum seeks artwork for an exhibit commemorating the Passenger Pigeon. In the 100 years since the last Passenger Pigeon died, a deeper and more passionate comprehension of extinction compels us to conserve and protect. The Museum’s exhibit intends to highlight different aspects of the Passenger Pigeon’s story and its consequences. If you have (or will be making) art that speaks to this, please let us consider your work for our exhibit.

The exhibit will be a part of Project Passenger Pigeon’s 2014 centenary observation of the extinctions of the passenger pigeon. It will be open from May 1 – October 31 at the Birds of Vermont Museum (http://www.birdsofvermont.org). For more on the project: http://passengerpigeon.org/

How to submit: send up to 3 digital images (by link to your online portfolio or attach a JPG) to museum@birdsofvermont.org . Recommended size: about 800-1600 pixels on the longest side. Deadline for submission: March 15. Artists will be notified between March 16 and 31. We will be hanging the art between April 15-30.

If you are interested in selling your art (or cards/prints) during the exhibit, please let us know that as well.

October Events! Owls and arts, carvings and crafting, and a Festival!

October is for owls and arts, sales and stories, crafts and carvings

  

Please come to our Snowy Owl program and our awesome Fall Festival. That too exciting? Take a Big Sit break, and watch birds for an hour or 12. Relax while admiring art by 3rd and 5th graders on exhibit all month long. There’s also a Bluebird Brooch Felting Class and a Gift Shop Sale.

Continue reading “October Events! Owls and arts, carvings and crafting, and a Festival!”

A Call to Vermont Bird Artists!

Do you do birds? The Birds of Vermont Museum and the Vermont Center for Ecostudies are collaborating on an exhibit for this year at the Birds of Vermont Museum. We are celebrating the VCE’s updated Breeding Birds of Vermont atlas and its release as a printed book (see more at http://www.vtecostudies.org/vbba/). This atlas is a gigantic citizen-science project and the result of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of hours of birding observations and data analysis.

We seek art to complement the data-rich maps and species descriptions. The exhibit will run from May 1 through October 31.

The birds we’re looking for are these:

  • American Kestrel
  • Bank Swallow
  • Blackpoll Warbler  
  • Merlin
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker  
  • Tufted Titmouse  
  • Whip-poor-will  

The art we seek is ready to hang, and is at least 10” x 10” (up to say, 3’x3’). We’re happy to consider sculptures (especially if it fits on a small wall-mounted mantle-style shelf or can be hung on a wall). We are hoping for a diversity of media, and we’re happy to carry some prints and cards of yours in our gift shop as well for the season. The original work can be for sale or not, at your discretion.

Are you interested? Do you have something you’d like to exhibit with us? Do you want to check out our exhibit space? Call or email us, tell us about it, and send us an image (.jpg preferred) by Friday, April 5. We’ll be choosing up to 15 works of art for this exhibit. We’ll need to hang the artwork by the first weekend in May. You can reach us (Erin, Kirsten, and Allison) at (802) 434-2167 and museum@birdsofvermont.org.

We look forward to seeing your work!

Nuthatch Carving Class

Carving Class: White-breasted nuthatch with David Tuttle
Carving Class: White-breasted nuthatch with David Tuttle of the Green Mountain Woodcarvers

Nuthatch Carving Class with David Tuttle
Saturday, November 10 • 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Come to a one-day carving class with David Tuttle of the Green Mountain Woodcarvers. We will carve and paint a White-breasted Nuthatch. Wood blank, eyes, snacks, and coffee provided.

No carving experience required! Beginners are as welcome as experts. Do bring your tools and gloves if you have them; if you don’t, let us know. Dave often brings some knives, gloves, etc. to sell.

Great for teens and adults. $25 for Museum and GMWC members • $35 for everyone else. Call 802 434-2167 to pre-register.

upcoming event: Gift Shop Sale

Birds of Vermont Museum's Gift Shop Sale
Birds of Vermont Museum’s Gift Shop Sale

You may know that we are open every day 10-4 from May 1 to October 31. You may also know that we’re open by appointment from Nov 1 to April 30 (feel free to call and make an appointment) plus some extra other days. But did you know we have an annual, end-of-season GIFT SHOP SALE? We do!

Saturday & Sunday, October 27-28, 10 am – 4pm

For two days, enjoy 10% off in our gift shop, as we mark the end of our successful 25th Anniversary Year! (Consignment items excluded). Members of the Birds of Vermont Museum get an even better deal: 20% off!  (You can become a member at any time).

We hope you’ll come enjoy the Museum this weekend … or any day!

upcoming event: Potluck Birding (open mike for birders)

Open Mike for Birders

Potluck Birding: Open Mike for Birders
Saturday, October 27 • 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
An experimental evening of tasty food and delightful birds from you. Get inspired for your winter birding vacation.

  • 5:30-6:15: Potluck dinner : bring a dish to share
  • 6:30-9:00: Share your favorite birding images, calls, stories, etc.

Up to 15 images per presenter pre-arranged on a flash drive or CD. We have Picasa and an old version of Powerpoint.

Please sign up for a presenting time-slot with the Museum so we can coordinate hard- and software!

Free for participants; donations welcome.

The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 4: The Summer of Pies)

Guest post by Kari Jo Spear, Photographer, Novelist, and Daughter of Bob Spear

One summer day when I was in my early teens, my father greeted me in the doorway of his shop with two aluminum pie pans in his hands. He was looking really excited. Since the pie pans were empty, I got a feeling that this had something to do with The Birds in Their Habitats thing that he had going.

As soon as I got inside, he asked, “Want to make some leaves?”

He sounded exactly the same way he’d sounded when he’d asked me a few months ago if I wanted to paint some mud. Here we go again, I thought. I was a teenager, and I had, quite frankly, a lot more important things on my mind than birds. Like the novel I was writing, and my friends, and well, boys. But I knew that “No,” would not be the right answer.

“Okay,” I said as non-enthusiastically as I could. The next thing I knew, I was sitting on a stool beside him at his workbench. He handed me a cutting board covered with a thin piece of black rubber. What that had to do with leaves, I had no idea. Then I noticed a pile of silvery, oblong shapes on the bench between us. Each one was slightly different, but in general, they were about three inches long and maybe half an inch across. One end of each was pointed, and the other end was rounded. They reminded me of long fake fingernails, except they had delicately jagged edges.

“Watch,” my father said. He laid down the rubber-covered board, put a fingernail on it, then picked up a long, narrow tool like an oversized pencil with a very sharp tip. He pressed the tip gently to one end of the fingernail and drew a fine line all the way up the middle to the other end. Then he drew in a lot of little lines running from the center line out to the jagged edges. And when he held it up, the fingernail looked like a pretty, silver leaf.

“I’ll paint it green,” he said, as though that would explain everything.

I just looked at him. The word “habitat” formed in my mind. This had to do with habitats, I knew it!

“I’ve got some more nests,” he said, “and the limbs they were built on. But the leaves have all dried up and fallen off, and besides, they have to look like spring, if I’m going to carve eggs to go in the nests.”

I guess that made sense. “But how are you going to get the leaves to stick onto the branch?”

“Glue,” he said, as though he’d already got it all figured out. Then he added, “But it’s all got to look real, so I’ll make some more branches out of wire and wrap them with cotton and coat them with glue, too, and paint them to look like bark, and then glue on more leaves.”

I think I might have been staring at him.

“I’ll cut the leaves out,” he went on as though I was really thrilled about this, “and you can press in the veins. Here.” He handed me the sharp tool and pushed the pile of fingernails toward me. There were maybe three dozen there.

“That’s a lot,” I said.

He was busy picking up the pie pans and pretended he hadn’t heard me the way that people who are hard of hearing are really good at doing. In a minute, he was carefully cutting out more leaves from the bottom of the pan.

I gave into peer pressure and got to work. My first center vein came out a little crooked, but hey, nature’s not perfect. After my fifth leaf, I had the technique down. I was creating some pretty awesome looking leaves that any nest with wooden eggs ought to be proud of.

The problem was that my father was cutting out more leaves faster than I could press veins into them, so my pile was getting bigger, not smaller. And then he bent down and pulled out a couple more empty pans from beneath the bench.

“Hey, where’d you get all those?” I asked.

He smiled. “Gale’s been buying one of every brand she can find. Some pans are a lot better than others. They don’t have so much writing and stuff on the bottom, so I’ve got more space to cut. I think we’ve got it figured out now.”

I just stared at him. Most people bought pies based on how luscious they looked. Gale was buying pies based on what the bottom of the pan looked like?

Then he grinned. “There’s a blueberry pie we’ve got to eat up for lunch.”

The day suddenly got a whole lot better.

“Hold on,” he said as I was about to jump up. “We’ve got to get another dozen leaves done first. But then there’s a cherry pie for dinner.”

I gaped at him.

“And maybe you’d like to have some of your friends come up next weekend? I’ve got plenty of sharp tools. Tell them there’ll be lots of pie.”

I decided that leaves might be okay after all.

The days became a blur of eating pies and making leaves with my friends and eating more pies. Soon pairs of warblers began to perch proudly around their nests surrounded by lush green habitats, and I got to buy new clothes because none of my old ones fit any longer.

The glorious summer of pies ended very abruptly one day when the UPS truck pulled up in front of the shop, and a delivery man staggered in. In his arms was the end of an era — a roll of aluminum sheeting the same thickness as what pie pans were made from. It was all shiny and pristine, unmarked with any lettering. It looked like it was five feet long and weighed a couple hundred pounds.

“I found it in a catalogue and Gale made me order it,” my father said very glumly.

I could tell that even he could never make enough leaves to use it all up.

“Oh, well,” he said. “There’s still a few pies left in the house. Can’t let them go to waste, can we?”

We laughed, and then went back to that day’s quota of leaves before lunch.

I had no idea that we were getting closer and closer to having a museum in the family.

Kari Jo Spear‘s young adult, urban fantasy novels, Under the Willow, and  Silent One, are available at Phoenix Books in Essex, and on-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: The Pre-teen Years (or, Why I’m Not a Carver)
Part 3: Something’s Going On Here

2012 Art Contest: It’s a Bird’s World

Enter your bird art in the Birds of Vermont Museum 2012 Art Contest. The theme is

It’s a Bird’s World

2012 Art Contest Rules

Download an art contest flyer for you, a friend, your school, library, or scout group! Art Contest Flyer (142 kb PDF), or read the rules below. We look forward to seeing your art!

Wall of collages and patterned flying birds
“Flying Birds” Entries from 2010

Who can enter?

Anyone aged 0 – 18 years old.

What can I enter?

Art that fits our 2012 theme: It’s a Bird’s World.
How do you and birds affect each other and your world?

Contestants may use any media.
Past entries (and winners) have used paint, colored pencils, crayons, markers, clay, wood, or papier-mâché.

Flat submissions (paper, collage, etc.) must be no larger than 8 ½” x 11”
3-D art must be smaller than 6”x 6”x 8”

How do I enter?

One entry per person.

Name, age and contact information must be included with entry. Please put this on the back or bottom if possible.

Entries must be received no later than September 30, 2012.

Please bring or mail entries to:

Birds of Vermont Museum
900 Sherman Hollow Road
Huntington, Vermont 05462

Entries will be displayed at the museum throughout the 2012 season, so enter early!

Judging

First, second, and honorable mention prizes will be awarded in the following categories (most are age-based):

  • 5 years and younger
  • 6 – 8 years
  • 9 – 13 years
  • 14 – 18 years
  • 3-D Art

We may add additional prizes or categories at our discretion. In the past, we’ve added Masks, Ceramics, and Watercolor and Resists.

Flying Birds: Entries to Art Contest

Winners

Winners will be announced at the Museum at the Fall Festival, Saturday, October 13, 2011 (see more events on our calendar).

Winning entries may be displayed (with artist and parent approval) on our blog or our Facebook page after the Festival.

Can I get my art back?

Of course! Entries may be picked up at the Museum. We encourage you to collect them between October 13 and November 1, 2012, if possible. We are open by appointment, rather than daily, starting November 1.

Sponsors

We welcome sponsors of our art contest! Contact us if you’d like to donate funds (to purchase prizes) or prizes (we do ask that we get to vet these first).

Past sponsors have included farm and garden stores, art supply shops, artists, and museum members.

Call (802 434-2167) or email us (museum@birdsofvermont.org) if you can sponsor the show.

Thank You to our 2012 Sponsors

The Engraving Bench, Essex Junction, Vermont
Black Horse Fine Art Supply, Burlington, Vermont
Guys Farm and Yard, Williston, Vermont
Essex Cinemas, Essex, Vermont
Inspiration Arts and Crafts Supplies, Essex, Vermont

The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 3: Something’s Going On Here…)

Guest post by Kari Jo Spear, Photographer, Novelist, and Daughter of Bob Spear

I can’t remember the first time I ever heard the “M” word. The fact that we were going to have a museum in the family happened very slowly, after a great many permutations and plot twists, and by the time it was a reality, it felt like it was meant to be from the beginning.

But it didn’t start out that way.

Continue reading “The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 3: Something’s Going On Here…)”