ESSEX COUNTY TRAIL ASSOCIATION is hosting the 24th annual EQUINE EXPO to be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 9-3 in the Arena Building at the Topsfield Fairgrounds on Route 1, Topsfield, MA. This popular event draws over 800 people each year. Individuals, groups & businesses make up over 80 booths offering goods and services, new and used, for the horse and rider/driver. To outfit everyone for the show and trail season, find a massage therapist, trainer, saddle fitter or a new saddle, upgrade all your tack and equipment, build a barn, purchase supplements, books, herbal products, home décor or gifts this is the place to be.
Kids will get their hands dirty and dig into the science of soil at this April vacation session. Meet the critters of the sanctuary that call dirt home. Worms, millipedes, sow bugs, weasels, and voles are a few soil creatures that we will hope to see. Find out what it takes to make a garden grow, before preparing and planting your own take-home garden.
Wetlands are wonderful places full of fascinating animals and plants. Together we will discover the wetland habitats of the sanctuary. We'll hike to Hassocky Meadow and search for ducks, turtles, snakes, and more. We will continue our explorations at a real vernal pool and look for breeding salamanders, wood frogs, and their egg masses.
Celebrate spring by building a bluebird house with your child. We’ll supply all the materials and instruction to build a nest box for bluebirds and tree swallows. These wonderful nest boxes also attract chickadees, tufted titmice, house wrens, and woodpeckers. A short slide presentation will introduce families to the natural history and behavior of birds in Massachusetts, and we’ll discuss where and how to place your nest box. Dress for the weather because we will take a short walk to look and listen for bluebirds.
People of all ages love owls, and many species of owls can be found right here in Massachusetts year-round. Experience the excitement of an owl prowl as we take a night hike to look and listen for Barred Owls, Great Horned Owls, and Eastern Screech-owls. Before we head out on our nocturnal adventure, we'll learn fun owl facts in our cozy Barn using real owl mounts, feathers, talons, and a brief slide show. We'll end our evening with an owl-hooting lesson.
Spring celebrations begin early at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary with the age-old tradition of maple sugaring. The warm days of late winter awaken the flow of sap in the maples, causing buds to swell and resulting in sweet-smelling billowing clouds of steam rising from the sugarhouse.
Start a new maple sugaring tradition by renting your own sugaring bucket for yourself, your family, or as the perfect gift. Join our sugaring experts on Saturday, February 23, for a two-hour interactive program and experience this lovely New England tradition.
The Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary wraps up the maple sugaring season this year with our the annual Flapjack Fling. Bring your family and friends for this special breakfast at the sanctuary and enjoy the fruit (OK, sap!) of our labor and our maple trees on some delicious pancakes.
Brighten up your yard this winter with a bird feeder handmade by you and your child. Each family will receive a kit containing all the necessary parts to build a feeder that will attract chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, and many other birds to your yard. A short slide presentation will highlight the birds that commonly come to feeders. We'll also observe the sanctuary feeders to see which birds are looking for food. Instructors will circulate to provide assistance.
The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most prolific of the annual meteor showers, rivaling in strength the better-known Perseid meteor shower of mid-August. This year, the Geminids reach maximum activity on the night of December 13, when as many as 120 shooting stars might be seen each hour under clear skies far removed from city lights and completely free of light pollution. We'll meet several days ahead of the peak activity to discuss the general nature of meteor showers, their origins, and the best ways to observe them. Weather permitting, we'll step outside afterward in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the Geminid shower in its early stages. There will also be viewing of the night sky through a large reflector telescope.