Book Talk and Walk 12

Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 1:30-3:30pm

book cover

Join us for a discussion of the book “The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds”, by Julie Zickefoose at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in Smithtown.  The book discussion will be followed by a nature stroll.  You can read all, some or none of the book’s chapters to join in the informal discussion and walk.  Light refreshments will be served. Meet inside the museum building. $4.00 activity fee. No parking fee.

Call (631) 786-4640 for more details and to sign up!

Book Description                                                                                                            

The Bluebird Effect is about the change that’s set in motion by one single act, such as saving an injured bluebird—or a hummingbird, swift, or phoebe. Each of the twenty five chapters covers a different species, and many depict an individual bird, each with its own personality, habits, and quirks. And each chapter is illustrated with Zickefoose’s stunning watercolor paintings and drawings. Not just individual tales about the trials and triumphs of raising birds, The Bluebird Effect mixes humor, natural history, and memoir to give readers an intimate story of a life lived among wild birds. –Amazon.com

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Book Talk and Walk 11

Sunday, October 26, 2014 from 1:30-3:30pm

Sixth ExtinctionJoin us for a discussion of the book “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History”, by Elizabeth Kolbert at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in Smithtown.  The book discussion will be followed by a nature stroll.  You can read all, some or none of the book’s chapters to join in the informal discussion and walk.  Light refreshments will be served. Meet inside the museum building. $4.00 activity fee. No parking fee.

Call (631) 786-4640 for more details and to sign up!

Book Description                                                                                                            

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two‐time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

Book Talk and Walk X

Sunday, May 4, 2014 from 1:30-3:30pm

maine woodsJoin us for a discussion of the book “A Year In The Maine Woods”, by Bernd Heinrich at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in Smithtown.  The book discussion will be followed by a nature stroll.  You can read all, some or none of the book’s chapters to join in the informal discussion and walk.  Light refreshments will be served. Meet inside the museum building. $4.00 activity fee. No parking fee.

 

Call (631) 786-4640 for more details and to sign up!

 

 

 

Book Description                                                                                                           

Escapist fantasies usually involve the open road, but Bernd Heinrich’s dream was to focus on the riches of one small place—a few green acres along Alder Brook just east of the Presidential Mountains. The year begins as he settles into a cabin with no running water and no electricity, built of hand-cut logs he dragged out of the woods with a team of oxen. There, alone except for his pet raven, Jack, he rediscovers the meaning of peace and quiet and harmony with nature—of days spent not filling out forms, but tracking deer, or listening to the sound of a moth’s wings. Throughout this year when “the subtle matters and the spectacular distracts,” Heinrich brings us back to the drama in small things, when life is lived consciously. His story is that of a man rediscovering what it means to be alive.

Book Talk and Walk IX

Sunday, November 3, 2013 from 1:00-3:00pm

forest unseenJoin us for a discussion of the book “The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature”, by David George Haskell  at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in Smithtown.  The book discussion will be followed by a nature stroll.  You can read all, some or none of the book’s chapters to join in the informal discussion and walk.  Light refreshments will be served. Meet inside the museum building. $4.00 activity fee. No parking fee.

Call (631) 786-4640 for more details and to sign up!

Book Description

In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one- square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature’s path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Each of this book’s short chapters begins with a simple observation: such as a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands – sometimes millions – of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home (description from Amazon.com).

Book Talk and Walk VIII Recap: A rainy day

Well it turned out to be a rainy day for our book talk and walk event. A perfect day to curl up with a good book! Though it was a steady downpour for the day we did end up having one participant. We ended up having a nice discussion of the book and enjoyed some good snakes as well. Needless to say we did not have the walk part of our event. Instead we contented ourselves looking out the window at the wet scenery. There was some activity however. A group of Canada geese were feeding in the grass seeming oblivious to the rain. They were joined by a few grackles and starlings. All and all not a bad day. Stay tuned for our next book talk and walk announcement. In the meantime find yourself a sit spot and learn bird language (http://birdlanguage.com/)!Caleb Smith State Park

Book Talk and Walk VIII

Sunday, May 19, 2013 from 1:00-3:00 pm

robin knowsJoin us for a discussion of the book “What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World”, by Jon Young at Caleb Smith State Park Preserve in Smithtown.  The book discussion will be followed by a nature stroll.  You can read all, some or none of the book’s chapters to join in the informal discussion and stroll.  Light refreshments will be served. Meet inside the museum building. Parking fee, $4.00 activity fee.

Call (631) 786-4640 for more details and to sign up!

Book Description

A lifelong birder, tracker, and naturalist, Jon Young is guided in his work and teaching by three basic premises: the robin, junco, and other songbirds know everything important about their environment, be it backyard or forest; by tuning in to their vocalizations and behavior, we can acquire much of this wisdom for our own pleasure and benefit; and the birds’ companion calls and warning alarms are just as important as their songs. (http://whattherobinknows.com/)

Book Talk and Walk VII: Recap Memories of Summer

Well it’s been a bit of a tough winter this year and a busy period for us. So now I finally have a chance to post a follow up to our last Book Talk and Walk. With the winter weather we’ve been having anticipation of spring is in the air. Until then here are memories of last summer. Here are a few photos of some summer flowers we saw on our walk.

After our discussion we had a lovely early evening walk and saw some pretty summer flowers.

Prickly Pear:

Prickly Pear Cactus Flower (Custom)

Many people think of cactuses like the prickly pear cactus to be denizens of the desert. However the Eastern Prickly Pear (Opuntia humifusa)like other members of its genus thrive anywhere in sunny places with well drained sandy soils. Conditions that are found in abundance at West Meadow Beach. The Eastern Prickly Pear is found throughout the eastern U.S. where the right conditions for it are found. It is part of a genus of 200 species. It flowers in June and develops an edible red fleshy fruit afterwards.

Beach Rose:

Beach Rose

The beach rose (Rosa rugosa) is an introduced species that is abundant at West Meadow beach. Also known as sea rose and salt-spray rose it has bright, pleasant smelling, showy, pinkish flowers in June. Afterwards the fleshy bright red rose hips are prominent. The beach rose is a shrub that forms dense thickets. It is considered a noxious weed in many places.

Milkweed:

Common Milkweed

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is another lovely June flowering plant found at West Meadow Beach that grows in sandy soils in sunny locations. It is an important nectar source for butterflies, especially monarchs, and other insects including bees.




A Lovely Sunset

DSCN0795 (Custom)

At the end of our summer ramble we were treated to a lovely sunset. Another successful Book Talk and Walk!