Friday, April 7, 2023

Beaver Pond Wildlife Film Series Presentation

Beaver lodge
Beaver lodge

Few wildlife species are more intriguing, and none has a greater ability to alter and create habitat than that iconic keystone species, the beaver. This unassuming mammal goes about its daily life setting up and maintaining its homestead, all the while creating aquatic and terrestrial conditions that so many other creatures rely on.

The Simsbury (CT) Grange, in partnership with the Simsbury Public Library, is featuring our 5-part "Beaver Pond Wildlife" film series in 2023. The films document the lives of the multitude of species typically found in, on, and around northeastern beaver ponds, season by season. Each film is about one hour long.

The films will be scheduled to coincide with what you can expect to see at northeastern beaver ponds at that time of the year. Each contains scenes that probably most people have never witnessed.

There will be a Q&A session with filmmaker Ray Asselin following each film.

"Part 1 - Early Spring" will be presented on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 7:00 pm. We'll see migrating birds arriving at beaver ponds to stake out nesting territories, including warblers, songbirds, swallows, ducks, geese, herons, ospreys, and more. A variety of mammals, amphibians, fish, and reptiles are part of the mix too, such as beavers (of course), muskrats, deer, fisher, bobcat, otters, weasels, opossum, coyote, skunk; frogs, turtles, toads, and newts; and bald eagles as well.

Parts 2 through 5 progress chronologically through late spring to winter, and are scheduled for the following Thursday evenings: May 25, June 8, September 14, and November 19, respectively. 

The events will be held at the Simsbury Grange hall, 236 Farms Village Rd, W. Simsbury, CT. The hall, nearly a century old, has a charming atmosphere, complete with a traditional wooden floor. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Pre-register at the Simsbury Library website.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

"Lost Forests of New England" film in Newtown, CT


 Blackgum Trees, ca 500 years old

Newtown, CT, celebrates Earth Day, and this year they're featuring a documentary film festival. To launch the festival, they've chosen to present our old-growth forest film The Lost Forests of New England on Thursday, April 20, 2023. 

The film depicts what our primeval central New England forests looked like before European settlement 400 years ago, and what their status is today.

The agricultural phenomenon known as "sheep fever," which was responsible for rapid wholesale clearing of our original central New England forests, is described by noted ecologist and author Tom Wessels. Harvard Forest scientists David Foster, David Orwig, and Neil Pederson are also featured in the film, as are Tony D'Amato (University of Vermont), Peter Dunwiddie (University of Washington, formerly with MA Audubon), and Joan Maloof (founder of the Old Growth Forest Network). Old-growth forest expert Bob Leverett ties the story together, having played a central role in the discovery and documentation of many remnant old growth stands.

Old-growth Yellow Birch

Following the screening, there will be a Q&A session with filmmaker Ray Asselin, and Susan Masino, who is a Professor of Applied Science at Trinity College and the Hartford County Coordinator for the Old Growth Forest Network.

The event will be held in the Alexandria Room of the historic Edmond Town Hall at 7pm. Admission is free and open to the public.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Primitive Tribe Found in Adirondack Forest

Scientists examining new images from a satellite equipped with sophisticated imaging technology noticed something very peculiar deep in the primeval Adirondack forest. 



The satellite, which employs ultra-high-resolution cameras, lidar, ground penetrating radar, and geo-compression detection hardware, revealed what seemed to be faint remains of an ancient footpath from South America all the way to the heart of what is now the United States. One branch led to the Adirondacks, where there appeared to be a tiny, unknown human settlement in pristine old growth forest. A team of researchers, led by geoscientists Ivan Aufilich and Brad Naylor, was quickly sent to the site to learn more. What they found is just astonishing, to say the least. 

In an interview, Auphilich related "It was a long, tiring slog into the remote area, and I couldn't believe my own eyes! Deep in a remote mountain gorge, among swamplands and ancient, gnarled trees, we rather suddenly came upon a small, primitive group of short-statured, self-reliant people."

Despite the language barrier, the researchers learned the reclusive tribe survives in the forest mostly on foraged foods, including such arcane things as yew tubers, whyng nuts, rhode apples, nowun leaves, chuck berries, and Sauer grapes. They even raise diminutive Zy goats for meat, milk, and sei cheese, all of which they typically eat with kowch potatoes.   

Auphilich said "This is truly unbelievable, and anyone who does believe it is an April Fool !".