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Thursday, February 15, 2018

CNC holds programs as winter slowly gives way to spring

HASTINGS, Minn. - Across the snow-blown prairies the winter chill still lingers in the air, yet the joyful “feee-beee” spring song of the chickadees can now be heard on bright sunny mornings at the Carpenter Nature Center. 
 
Every day the Midwestern sunlight lingers over the valley a little longer. Soon the sap will start running. Meanwhile under the ice the fish, frogs and mudpuppies are well insulated from this month’s sub-zero wind chills. As the days slowly lengthen and warm, look for changes in bird behavior with more singing and less contact calls among songbirds. Already nesting behavior can be spotted in raptors from eagles to owls. In the mornings, after a fresh snowfall look for more diversity in the tracks that break-up the smooth surface. From tiny mouse tracks to large buck tracks, the imprints can be a fun way to decipher overnight activities. During warmer winter days our only marsupial, the Virginia Opossum, can occasionally be seen foraging underneath bird feeders with its bare toes and tail. For more information on upcoming programs and events, or to RSVP for a program, please call 651-437-4359 or visit http://carpenternaturecenter.org/
 
 
If your New Year’s resolution is to become a CNC volunteer, please contact Alan Maloney at 651-437-4359 (ext. 104) or at alan@carpenternaturecenter.org. The next Volunteer Information Meeting will be Wednesday, February 21 at 7 p.m. in the Visitor Center. The Information Meetings are intended as opportunities for new volunteers to learn about CNC and get their questions about volunteering answered by CNC’s volunteer coordinator. Please RSVP to Alan if you plan to attend.
 
 
FEATURED FEBRUARY PUBLIC EVENT:
February 24 & 25
Show times: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
 
You’ve waited all year for it, and it is almost here…the inspiring Masters of the Sky, free-flight raptor demonstration. The expert team from the World Bird Sanctuary will make the journey to CNC again this winter to share amazing, trained birds of prey in an hour-long educational program. Learn about bird conservation efforts from around the world while nocturnal predators, such as the ghostly Barn Owl glide silently over the audience. Be awed by diurnal raptors, including eagles, hawks and falcons. This year the species will include North America’s rarest falcon, the Aplomado Falcon. This program is partially sponsored by the Hastings Lions Club and C.F. Industries. Be certain to get your seats early, as these programs do sell out. RSVP to 651-437-4359. The program fee is $10 per person or $7 for Friends of CNC.
 
 
UPCOMING PROGRAMS & EVENTS
 
February 23
8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
 
Have you ever wondered what bird banding is all about? Our bird banders welcome you to see songbirds up close and learn about the birds who share our ecosystem. Banding runs continuously for the full 3 ½ hours but visitors may come and go at any time. Please call ahead so we know you are coming. Donations of bird seed or suet will be greatly appreciated in lieu of a program fee.
  
March 2 
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
 
Enjoy a winter night under the moonlight with a relaxing snowshoe hike at CNC. After the hike, warm up by the fire and enjoy fresh popcorn and hot apple cider. Snowshoes provided or bring your own; dress for the weather. Program Fee: $10.00 per person or $7.00 for “Friends of CNC.” RSVP to 651-437-4359
 
 
March 3
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
 
Learn to identify birds with local experts. Binoculars and field guides will be available to use or you may bring your own. Registration is recommended, so please call 651-437-4359 to reserve your spot. Program fee is $6 or FREE for Friends of CNC, St. Croix Valley Bird Club Members, HEP members and High School Students.
 
 
March 9
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
 
This time of the year, many of the Midwest’s 12 owl species are vocalizing to attract mates. Explore CNC on a guided night hike to look and listen for these owls. If there is enough snow cover, snowshoes will be provided or you may bring your own. Program Fee: $6.00 per person or $4.00 for “Friends of CNC.” Please call 651-437-4359 to register.
 
 
March 10
8:00 - 10:00 a.m.
 
Learn to identify birds with local experts. Binoculars and field guides will be available to use or you may bring your own. Registration is recommended, so please call 651-437-4359 to reserve your spot. Program fee is $6 or FREE for Friends of CNC, St. Croix Valley Bird Club Members, HEP members and High School Students.
 
 
March 10
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
 
Welcome spring by joining other scouts and the CNC staff in making maple syrup. Hike to the “sugar-bush” to tap maple trees, watch the process of turning sap into syrup and sample the final product. The program starts indoors, but be ready to hike in the spring snow and mud. Registration is required and space is limited, so please call 651-437-4359 to reserve your spot. Program fee is $6 per person or $4 for friends of CNC.
 
 
March 16 
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
 
Preschool Storytime programs are designed to introduce children ages 2-5 to nature in a fun and safe environment. Listen to stories, spend time outdoors, tap a maple tree and sample some syrup. Be sure to call ahead to 651-437-4359 and reserve your spot as these programs sell out quickly. Registration is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Program fee is $5 per child, $3 for Friends of CNC. There is no charge for the accompanying adult.
 
 
March 18
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
 
Welcome spring by joining the CNC staff in making maple syrup. Hike to the “sugar-bush” to tap maple trees, watch the process of turning sap into syrup and sample the final product. The program starts indoors, but be ready to hike in the spring snow and mud. Registration is required and space is limited, so please call 651-437-4359 to reserve your spot. Program fee is $6 per person or $4 for friends of CNC.
 
 
March 25
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
 
Welcome spring by joining the CNC staff in making maple syrup. Hike to the “sugar-bush” to tap maple trees, watch the process of turning sap into syrup and sample the final product. The program starts indoors, but be ready to hike in the spring snow and mud. Registration is required and space is limited, so please call 651-437-4359 to reserve your spot. Program fee is $6 per person or $4 for friends of CNC.
 
 
 
 

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