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Exploring the Phenology of Spring Wildflowers
May 7, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Want to brush up on your flower identification skills and take a deep dive into plant phenology? Join us on Saturday, May 7 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM for a wildflower and phenology walk with botanist Peter Curtis at Kestrel’s Dyer Conservation Area in Hadley. The walk will be followed by a gathering with light morning refreshments across the road on the back veranda of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum.
Early May is when our splendid “spring ephemerals” really get going, and we’re likely to see a variety of them in this little-known conservation area that hosts fields, wetlands, and upland woods. Dr. Curtis will teach us what to observe and record about the phenology of these plants. For example, how many flowers and flower buds are present? What percentage of flowers are open? How many fruits are present? As citizen scientists, our observations will be added to a national database, and we’ll be contributing to a larger effort to better understand how climate change is impacting our environment.
Following our walk, we will gather at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum for light refreshments, and have the opportunity to brainstorm about continuing our phenological observations. We’ll also hear from museum staff about some exciting projects underway there.
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family owned almost 600 acres of land along the Connecticut River up to Mount Warner in North Hadley. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is surrounded by over 350 acres of protected farmland, forest, and river frontage, including Kestrel’s Dyer Conservation Area. The homestead, now owned by the nonprofit Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation, retains its original rural setting and is located on the National Connecticut River Scenic Farm Byway.
Peter Curtis is Professor Emeritus of plant ecology at the Ohio State University and resident of Northampton. He has published widely in the area of plant and ecosystem responses to climate change with a recent emphasis on carbon uptake and storage by forests as they age. At OSU he taught courses in botany, ecology, ethnobotany, and climate change biology. For more about phenology: visit the National Phenology Network: www.usanpn.org/home
For the safety of our community, all participants are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
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