backyard animals · backyard bugs · Berkshire Bioblitz · global climate change · insects · invasive species · leaves · mushrooms · Nature Academy of the Berkshires · plants

Tally for Berkshire Bioblitz 2017

algae 2017This year’s Berkshire Bioblitz was fun and educational! The weather was perfect.  We held it in Great Barrington MA at Thomas & Palmer Brook as part of the 50 year celebration of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council.

Finally tally for the day was: 542 species.

We found one of the biggest red oak trees in Berkshire County measuring 16 feet across! Some rare algae, and the beaver entertained us during the owl prowl by slapping his tail and getting water all over Berkshire Naturalist: Jason Crockwell.

This year’s Berkshire Bioblitz was hosted by Berkshire Natural Resources Council, and sponsored by Dr. Augie’s and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT). Special thanks to Mariah from BNRC and Elizabeth from BEAT for all their help and organization.
butterfly girl 2017

Next year William’s College is hosting the Berkshire Bioblitz at Hopkins Forest–and its going to be a big one! Keep posted for more details.

backyard bugs · Berkshire Bioblitz · global climate change · invasive species · plants

Berkshire Bioblitz 2017

This September in Great Barrington!

This year’s Berkshire Bioblitz will be held on on September 16-17, 2017 in Great Barrington, MA at Thomas & Palmer Brook as part of the 50 year celebration of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council.

Join us for 24 hours of biodiversity immersion! Starting at 12 noon on Saturday September 16th and running through until 12 noon Sunday September 17th.

There will be nature walks with over 20 specialist.

You can join us at any time for as long as you would like. Forest walks, meadow walks and pond exploration will be taking place throughout the day.

The Berkshire Environmental Action Team will be setting up an invasive plant species exhibit. And ask to see one of the biggest oak tree in the Berkshires!!

There will be live animals to meet up close and personal. At dark there will be a moth light experience, bring your camera if you want. We will be going on an “Owl Prowl” in the dark, bring your flashlight.

Follow the signs for parking.

This year the Berkshire Bioblitz is sponsored by the Berkshire Environmental Action Team and Dr. Augie’s Science & Art Programs and hosted by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council.

global climate change · winter

ice and skyRecently the Berkshire Environmental Action Team had an environmental expo at the Stationary Factory in Dalton. What I saw of it was wonderful. (I’ve been sick and didn’t want to share so I didn’t stick around as much as I would have liked.) But later in the evening I pulled up a chair in the back of the room and watched the movie “Ice and Sky” about a famous French scientist, Luc Jacquet, and his team and how they spend 6 decades proving humans are causing rapid global climate change. The movie was mostly edited clips of the scientific expositions and current cinematography. It was breath taking. Yet, two books kept popping into my head the entire time. I think because I knew the end and it had to do with being doomed.

The first book was Mountains of Madness H.P. Lovecraft. The second was A Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier.

Parts of the movie showed the scientists moving through narrow tunnels and there were vast pans of the white mountains and crevices. All bringing back flashbacks of the descriptions in Mountains of Madness. And the voices. I could hear the not-really-voices from Lovecraft’s novella, if that makes sense. Its been a while since I’ve read this, and I’m not sure I want to revisit it. It was scary stuff.

The second book, A Brief History of the Dead, I  read over 4 years ago, but it stuck with me. As with any good science fiction story, this book is about what may happen in the near future, where conspiracy theory meets science and things go bad. It makes the reader think maybe we should change what we are doing now or the things happening in this book might come true. Its actually two stories in one book–they are connected–but only to the reader. One story line takes us to a place we know: A world where the polar ice caps are melting and biological terrorism is a major issue in the world. A big corporation of course steps in to the rescue listening only in part to the scientists, making things worse. The main character in this part of the story is a woman in Antarctica looking for clean water. The description of her exploration and fight for survival is what brought the book to mind while watching the movie. There was doom, gloom hanging on the precipice of death set in majestic beauty.

The second part of the book is about The City where the dead are found, but mysteriously vanish. No more about this because it would be a spoiler.

So there it is-our planet is a beautiful place. Humans are incredible beings, but we are destroying life on the planet as we know it. It is time we stand up for the planet-if not for ourselves, for our children and our children’s children.

For more information on the human impact on global climate change and what you can do about it: You can start here: http://iceandsky.com/education