Monthly Archives: July 2015

Summer Nights: Aquarium After Dark at the Mystic Aquarium Friday (7/17)

aqafterdark generic

Curious about what the animals at the Mystic Aquarium are like after dark? Head on over Friday night, July 17th from 6:30-9:30pm for extended aquarium hours to learn how their behavior changes. Enjoy a complimentary Sea lion show, a visit with the African Penguins, a Meet & Greet with the mascot, Petey the Penguin, fun hands on activities with other aquarium animals, as well as all the exhibits that are open during the day. There will be also be kid-approved food and refreshments. Prices for members are $24.95 for adults (11+) and $20.95 for children (under 10). Prices for non-members are $29.95 for adults (11+) and $25.95 for children (under 10). Click here to register for this event!

Click here for directions!

(Image Courtesy of the Mystic Aquarium)

Butterfly Walk at Session Woods Saturday, July 18th at 1:30pm


Head on over to Session Woods this Saturday (7/18) at 1:30pm to learn about butterflies! Join Wildlife Division Natural Resource Educator Laura Rogers-Castro to learn how to identify the many butterflies in Connecticut. The program will meet in the classroom in the exhibit room in Education Center, then move outside to use your new knowledge to identify butterflies around Session Woods. Be sure to pre-register by calling 860-424-3011 or emailing

Click here for directions!

Forest Faeries & Woodland Wizards Festival at Flanders Nature Center this Saturday (7/18) from 10am-3pm


Head out to the Flanders Nature Center on Saturday from 10am-3pm for a day of magic in nature! Come enjoy music, vendors, a crafts show, storytelling, a performance by the Main Street Ballet, and many other fun activities. Come in your fairy costume and march in the parade. You’re also invited to build your own Faerie/Wizard house which will be displayed during the festival. There is a fee of $5 per person (free for ages 2 and under). 

Find out more about the festival on Flanders website or by calling the center at (203) 263-3711. 

Click here for directions!

(Image courtesy of Flanders Nature Center)

Wesleyan Bird Highlight: The Northern Cardinal


In 2014, Wesleyan student Oliver James published A Field Guide to the Birds of Wesleyan. Here is an excerpt from the guide about the Northern Cardinal:

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis caridnalis)

L 8.7” (22 cm)

Year Round

Sporting its conspicuous red crest, the eponymous Northern Cardinal can be found year round on sweatshirts and coffee mugs across campus. In addition to the homecoming football game, the species is also commonly attracted to suburban feeders where it uses its powerful, conical bill specialized to crush seeds. The Northern Cardinal is arguably one of the most recognizable birds in North America. Its brilliant crimson outfit is arresting. Such gaudy attire is usually ascribed to the ostentatious species of the tropics. Sexually dimorphic, the female retains the crest and overall shape of the male but is buffy brown overall. Incongruous with his garb, the male is often reticent and will sing from dense foliage. Look for flashes of crimson in the hedges along fraternity row, the habitat adjacent to the Cross St. athletic fields, and in the yards along Mt. Vernon Street.

Identification: Male unmistakable – has a bright red body and pointed crest and a black face. Female is buffy brown with reddish tinge in the wings, tail and crest. Both sexes have a distinct large, red conical bill.

Voice: Call is a metallic chip. Song is variable, but typically a liquid, whistling purty purty purty followed directly by three lower notes cue cue cue.

These images copyright Oliver James/Wesleyan University Press 2014 and displayed here with permission from author. 


Family Crabbing at the Coogan Farm Wednesday, July 15th at 6pm

32715961_14139588bd_oHead out to the Coogan Farm Nature and Heritage Center on Wednesday (7/15) at 6pm to dive into the world of crabbing. This program will meet at the farm, where the basics about crabs and crabbing techniques will be covered. Then you’ll get to head to a “secret crabbing location” where you can utilize your new crabbing knowledge. Make sure to bring a headlamp or a flashlight and to wear appropriate shoes (no crocs or flip flops). There is a fee of $8.50 for members and $10 for non-members.

Click here for directions!

Wednesday and Saturday Canoe Trips at Meigs Point Nature Center


Head to Hammonasset State Park in Madison, CT for a two-hour guided round trip on the Hammonasset River, summer Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m.! Canoes, life vests and paddling instruction are provided (or you can bring your own canoe). Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. There is a $5 fee per participant, and advance reservations are recommended; please call Meigs Point Nature Center at 203-245-8743.

Farmington Valley Butterfly Count and Walk at the Roaring Brooking Nature Center (Canton), this Saturday, July 11 at 7:30am


Join the Roaring Brook Nature Center on July 11th in their annual butterfly survey sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association! The counting will start at 7:30 at the Nature Center parking lot. At 1:30, there will be a butterfly educational program and walk. Be prepared to spend time walking outside. There is a fee of $3 for members and $6 for non-members. The rain date is July 12. Be sure to call the center for more information at 860-693-0263.

Click here for directions!


Mini Explorers Camp: Wonders of Water, in Bauer Park 7/13-7/15


Bring your kids for three days of outdoor fun and learning about the aquatic habitats in Bauer Park. This mini camp takes place from Monday July 13th to Wednesday July 15th from 1pm-4pm. Make sure to dress for the weather, wear good walking shoes, and slather on the sunscreen. This is a drop off program for children ages 3-5, though parents are welcome to stay for the fun. There is a $57 fee for the three day program. 

Click here for directions!

(Image courtesy of Madison EDC)

Wednesday Evening Walks at the Roaring Brook Nature Center


Head on over to the Roaring Brook Nature Center every other Wednesday evening this summer from 7:30pm-8:45pm to enjoy cooler weather. These evening walks will have a focus on animals that become more active when the sun goes down. Dates for these walks are: July 8th and 22nd and August 5th and 19th. Make sure to wear long sleeves and bring a flashlight and bug spray! There is a fee of $4 for members or $6 for non-members (children’s fee is half price). 

Click here for directions!

(Image courtesy of RBNC)


Crazy Snakeworms at Flanders Nature Center this Tuesday night at 7pm

crazy snakeworm photo

Come learn about the crazy snakeworms of New England at Flanders Nature Center this Tuesday, July 7th at 7pm! Join Connecticut Master Gardener and Master Composter, William Flahive, in this presentation of his research on the invasive earthworms in our own backyards. This event will take place in the Flanders Studio and there is a fee of $10 for members or $15 for nonmembers. Be sure to pre-register by calling 203-263-3711 or online

Click here for directions!

(Image courtesy of Flanders Nature Center)