Pop-Up Mobile Art Boxes Take Art to the Streets

Third Florence Night Out Event Showcases Creative Community Members
Friday, September 19, 2014 from 5:30-8:30pm

A year after the first Florence Night Out (FNO), the widely-anticipated event is back and bigger than ever with an innovative new take on installation art: “Mobile Art Boxes” (MABs), a collaboration between FNO founder Donnabelle Casis, several local artists, and Florence-based business owner Tony Gleason. The MABs are six 8’x8’x16’ storage boxes from Gleason’s company, DIY Mobile Box, that have each been outfitted to contain a multimedia installation by a local artist. The types of art presented in the MABs range from performance to sound art to multimedia to simply the physical installation of objects – and to add to the evening’s excitement, the MABs will be located in unexpected spots throughout downtown Florence. The artists whose work is featured in the MABs are: John Slepian (performance art), Jake Meginsky (sound art/installation), Maggie Nowinski (video), Chris Nelson (installation), Sally Curcio & Anne LaPrade Suethe (installation), The Quarry & The Coast with Mount Emult aka Matthew Newman (short films).

This is a community-based way to engage in installation art while connecting with the many creative people and projects in our area! It’s a great opportunity for a family outing or a Parents’ Night Out: the tremendous number of activities and performances – not to mention delicious refreshments! – should satisfy even the most antsy kids or culture-hungry adults! Read the rest of this entry »

Grandpa in the House: Parenting in a Multigenerational Home

Windows to the Past…and When to Close Them

“But the windows…the windows strike a nerve that reaches back decades.”

This past August’s cool autumnal nights resurrected a family dilemma that I had hoped would be delayed at least a month longer – the problem of the open window. I assume I am like many New Englanders in that I like my windows open, at least a crack, until the first frost. Winter is already so long and the idea of saying goodbye to fresh air in August makes me want to weep.  Though honestly, weep is an understatement – it makes me downright furious.

My father, due to his advanced age and to his sensitivity issues, cannot stand being cold.  If a cool night is predicted I will be reminded countless times in my day that the windows need to be shut that evening. I will be given the precise temperature drop to be expected the moment I walk into the kitchen in the morning.  I will be reminded that he cannot shut our windows himself due to his weakening arms. I will passive aggressively ignore these comments in hopes they will stop.  They will not. Read the rest of this entry »

Famed Artist, Henri Matisee Exhibit a Major Coup for Western Mass!

Drawings by Henri Matisse on view at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum now through December 14, 2014

This latest exhibition at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum is expected to “draw” crowds: an exclusive selection of 45 drawings by Henri Matisse, the widely-known 20th century French artist known best for his colorful, expressive portrayal of the human form in paintings, sculptures, cut paper, and drawings.  The drawings on display span half a century and include both sketches and finished drawings.

Students of art and art history will be particularly excited about this exhibition because it offers an opportunity to interact with original artworks by a historically significant artist right here in Western Massachusetts.  A chance to eliminate the need for excessive travel and planning, while still showing your kids the art of one of the great masters: it’s a foolproof combination!

Read the rest of this entry »

Learn the Ways of Pollinators and then Support Them!

The Berkshire Museums BeMuse Program Series Tells all on Pollinators and how you can get Involved!

The Berkshire Museum will present a workshop and documentary screening with landscape designer and filmmaker Kim Smith on Saturday, September 20, 2014, as part of the Museum’s BeMuse program series. The slide-illustrated talk, Creating a Bee, Bird, and Butterfly Garden, begins at 10am and the screening of the film, Life Story of the Black Swallowtail, will follow the talk, beginning at 11:30am. Both programs are part of the Museum’s BeMuse program series. Come learn about these local pollinators, what habitats they thrive in, how you can support them and join Kim in a Q&A discussion following both the workshop and screening. Come curious and bring your questions!  Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Love Episode with Guest DJ, Alex Mitnick (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Love Episode with Guest DJ, Alex Mitnick

Alex Mitnick guest DJs the Hilltown Family Variety Show this weekend! Best known for his work as leader of the kid’s band, Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band, and host of the kid’s TV show, Alex & The Kaleidoscope, Alex explores the theme of LOVE in this fun and squeeze them real tight and tickle their toes hour of music! Alex will play songs from his new album, Love Songs For My Baby, as well as some of his favorite artists including Paul Simon, Bobby McFerrin and kids music stars Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights and Bari Koral and the Family Rock Band. Get ready for lots of smiles and hugs as we explore this most precious of themes… Love! — www.lovesongsformybaby.com

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
September 13th & 14th, 2014
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

FEATURED VIDEO:  “Feelin’ Fine” from Love Songs For My Baby


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Alex Mitnick – “Alex & The Kaleidoscope TV show Theme Song” [Alex & The Kaleidoscope TV show]
  • The Beatles – “All You Need Is Love” [Magical Mystery Tour]
  • Lucy Kalantari – “The Only Thing” [Pockets Full Of Joy]
  • Alex Mitnick – “Feelin’ Fine” [Love Songs For My Baby]
  • Bari Koral Family Rock Band – “Sisters and Brothers” [The Apple Tree & The Honey Bee]
  • Paul Simon – “Father and Daughter” [Shine]
  • John Lennon – “Beautiful Boy” [Double Fantasy]
  • Alex Mitnick – “Music In My Heart (Miles Smile) ” [Love Songs For My Baby]
  • Bobby McFerrin – “Gracious” [SpirituALL]
  • Steve Pullera – “I Will Always Love You” [Another Happy Sole]
  • Alex Mitnick – “Love Is All It Takes” [Love Songs For My Baby]
  • Lucky Diaz and The Family Jam Band – “Tu Eres Amor” [Agui, Alla]
  • Alex Mitnick – “Having A Party” [Love Songs For My Baby]
  • Joanie Leads – “I Love You” [The Good Egg]
  • Bob Marley – “One Love” [Exedus]
  • Patrice Jegou – “This Little Light Of Mine” [Speak Low]

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for September 13th & 14th, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for September 13th-19th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, 29 Community Highlights: Rhubarb Circus to Jam Making. Paper Marbling to Chilifest., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

For the best Autumn in New England experience here in Western MA, check out our Autumn Bucket List for recommendations on what to do and where to go from local families in the know!

September 13th-19th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

EntomologyHistorySkillshareVolunteer OpportunitiesSTEMFood FestivalPerformance/AstronomyOrnithologyMusic StudiesEnvironmental JusticeCulture/ArtLiteracyCommunity CelebrationsPastry Arts/ArchitecturePoetry

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Tips for a New School Year
  2. 7 Things to Tell the Teacher About Your Child
  3. Q&A: Where’s Your Favorite Apple Orchard in Western MA?
  4. HFVS Autumn Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)
  5. Symbols & Rituals of Rosh Hashanah

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

29 Community Highlights: Rhubarb Circus to Jam Making. Paper Marbling to Chilifest.

Have you been making jam this summer? Why not trade it with others at the Preserve Swap this Saturday, Sept 13, at the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers’ Market? Never made jam or just want to improve your skills? Join Grow Food Amherst at All Things Local Cooperative Market in Amherst for a jam making workshop on Sunday, Sept 14!

Honey Festival to Chilifest. Paper Marbling to Jam Making. Rhubarb Circus to Science Cafes… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Don’t be scared away by that chill in the air! Grow Food Amherst has moved their weekly Sustainability Sunday Workshops indoors for the fall! They will now be holding them at All Things Local Cooperative Market (104 North Pleasant St.) in Amherst. All Things Local is a year round, six day a week, farmers’ and craft market focused on sustainability and community. Learn how you can support local farming and food sources by turning your local produce from those fun filled fall apple picking excursions into delicious homemade jam at the Sunday September 14 workshop on jam making from 2-4pm! Other highlights from this season’s lineup of workshops include local residents sharing their knowledge and skills in the handmade soap workshop and how to make herbal oils, creams, and lip balms to keep your skin and lips healthy when the cold weather comes.


EntomologyHistorySkillshareVolunteer OpportunitiesSTEMFood FestivalPerformance/AstronomyOrnithologyMusic StudiesEnvironmental JusticeCulture/ArtLiteracyCommunity CelebrationsPastry Arts/ArchitecturePoetry


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

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Suggested Events for September 13th-19th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families lets me know what’s going on. Lots of things show up here that I don’t hear anywhere else. The content is consistently entertaining and thought-provoking! Thanks!” – Dennis Caraher (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Fall Openings

Spaces available! Nonotuck Community School is accepting applications for children 15 mos. to 5 years. January start date is available for younger children not old enough to start now. Open from 7:30am – 5:30pm and located in Northampton, Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. They emphasize community, emotional intelligence and resilience and provide ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development throughout the school day. A parent cooperative. Contact: info@nonotuck.org or 413-586-5996 or www.nonotuck.org.

Begins in Sep

Enrolling now! At The Center in Amherst, children spin stories from movement using classical and modern dance techniques. Sister duo Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special approach to teaching that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. Classes beginning in September for children ages 5 through 14, in downtown Amherst. For more information, visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com.

Sep 13

New in Greenfield: Kids Yoga! Celtic Heels is offering yoga classes for ages 3-teen in Greenfield starting in September. Every child should learn at an early age what they are capable of and exploring movement and creativity through yoga is a great way to achieve that goal. Small class sizes will enable each student to cultivate a growing relationship with the school’s accomplished, nurturing and certified instructor. Discounts are offered for additional family members in Irish dance, ballet and Celtic Cardio. Join Celtic Heels for their Free Yoga Day on Saturday, September 13 (and ask about their Irish dance and ballet lesson day too). For additional information email celticheels@gmail.com or visit their website: www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

Sep 13

Fall Courses, LittleFest at the Springfield Museums! Registration is underway for Museum School courses for kids! Led by a team of dedicated and talented instructors, courses include painting, robotics, and medical science, and are limited to 12 or fewer participants. And don’t miss “LittleFest,” the annual literacy celebration on Saturday, September 13 from 10am– 5pm at the Museums and the Springfield City Library, with kids’ shows, activities, and a free book for the first 400 families, courtesy of WGBY Public Television. Admission is FREE for Springfield residents and WGBY and Museum members. For information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Sep 14

On Sunday, September 14th at 4pm, join your fellow book lovers from the Odyssey Bookshop at the Jones Library in Amherst for an afternoon of magic and adventure! Hear from two master storytellers as they share their new book: The Iron Trial, Book One of Magesterium. From the imaginations of #1 bestselling authors Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) and Cassandra Clare (the Mortal Instruments series) comes a heart-stopping plunge into the magical unknown. Perfect for Harry Potter fans! Space is limited but you can reserve your seat at www.odysseybks.com! Ages 7-70!

Sep 18

On Thursday, September 18th, the streets of downtown Amherst are closed to traffic and open to a night of fun from 5-9pm for the Celebrate Amherst Block Party presented by the Amherst Business Improvement District! In its third year, this event brings thousands of people to downtown for a lively street fair environment including food vendors, multiple main stages with music, circus performers, dancing, and vendors from many area organizations. The streets become a playground for all ages in this fantastic community event. The Amherst Block Party is an event that you won’t want to miss! Visit www.amherstdowntown.com.

Begins Sep 19

Earthwork Programs Heron & Swift Eagle Homeschool Programs are starting Friday, September 19 (9:30am-2pm), in Amherst, MA, for ages 7+. For the last 15 years, hundreds of children have developed their Nature Awareness, Wilderness Survival Skills & Mentoring with Frank Grindrod. Curriculum covered is seasonal according to the cycles of nature and is designed to allow students to explore what interests them but still revolve around group studies. $610-$720, sliding scale, for 12-week fall session (includes bound Journal/Handbook). Winter & spring sessions available as well. Register online ASAP: www.earthworkprograms.com or call 413-340-1161 or email Frank: frank@earthworkprograms.com.

Sep 20

Join in the fun of the jigs and reels at Celtic Heels! A dance school in Greenfield offering lessons for ages 3+ in Irish Dance, Celtic Music, Ballet and KidsYoga; as well as, classes specifically for adults has something for everyone and discounts are offered for additional family members. Join Celtic Heels for their Free Irish Dance + Ballet Day on Saturday, September 20 (and ask about their free yoga lesson day too). For additional information email celticheels@gmail.com or visit their website at www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

Sep 28

On Sunday, Sept. 28th, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts will be hosting their 4th annual Will Bike 4 Food (WB4F) charity cycling event. When you’re at cookouts and picnics throughout the summer, it’s the perfect time to pull your family, friends and neighbors together to form a team and ride to end hunger. Forming a team is easy (4 or more). With multiple courses to choose from—a 10, 25, 50 or 100 mile loop—riders of any level to become involved. Registration is easy and only takes a few minutes. Don’t miss the post-race for a celebration with complimentary food, beer from Berkshire Brewing Company, and family activities. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at www.foodbankwma.org/events/bike.

Our Place for HomeSchoolers is designed to “unplug” young learners by bringing them into direct contact with the creatures, geologies, hydrologies and infrastructures of the Nonotuck biome and the Westfield River watershed. During a 6 hour session, they roam the valley and the hilltowns, investigating natural and cultural history with all of their senses. An excellent educational enhancement for home schoolers, Our Place allows them to 1) experience first-hand the subjects they study in books and 2) use their background knowledge and critical thinking skills to comprehend, and share their perceptions of, what they are experiencing. If you know a learner who needs some time and space to “think outside,” Our Place is here.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, fall program, after school class, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 13th-19th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

The Garden Plot: Season End Learning Through Gardening

Four September Garden Chores To Enrich The Family Gardening Experience


The gardening season is starting to come to an end and it’s time to start to think about how to help your garden for next year.  This is a perfect opportunity to get your kids thinking about the design of your family garden, and the importance of completing the season through some fall garden chores.  Here is a list of four chores I would suggest you do with your kids this weekend or next: Read the rest of this entry »

Experiential Learning at Historic Deerfield

Immerse Yourself in Fall & Uncover Its Traditions

Late summer and autumn were busy times in early American kitchens. The abundance of fresh produce needed to be processed and preserved for the winter. This fall, Historic Deerfield interpreters will be cooking dishes featuring apples, pumpkins, and corn.

As brightly colored leaves replace the lush green of summer, sweaters and sweatshirts emerge on chilly mornings, and fresh, local apples become a daily staple. A full calendar of events at Historic Deerfield offers families countless ways to learn about fall in early New England. Families can visit the 350-year-old village for demonstrations and hands-on experiential activities so as to learn – through immersion – about the changes that fall brought to some of western Massachusetts’ earliest settlers.

Of course, some fall traditions remain a part of New England culture today. Exploring Historic Deerfield can help families to uncover the roots of some of their own fall activities and traditions, and can help children to understand the season-related reasons for the timing of certain cultural events. Harvesting the last of the summer’s bounty, for example, and celebrating the changing of the seasons through food of all kinds is a seasonal activity that families will easily relate to. A visit centered around learning about the settlers of Deerfield’s open-hearth cooking style and the crops that they harvested in fall can help children to compare and contrast the things that happen during their own lives in the fall with the events of autumn for early New Englanders. Read the rest of this entry »

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Win Tickets to see Tweedy at the Calvin

Tweedy
plus Hospitality
Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA
Saturday, September 27th, 2014 at 8pm

Enter for your chance to win! You pay for the sitter and we’ll pay for the tickets!

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

Starting off our fall promotions we are pleased to offer a chance to win one of two pairs of tickets to see Tweedy plus Hospitality at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on Saturday, September 27th, 2014.

Win tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is Monday, 09/23/14 by 11:59pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT TWEEDY

As the founding member and leader of Wilco and before that the co-founder of Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy is one of contemporary American music’s most accomplished songwriters, musicians and performers. Since starting Wilco in 1994 Tweedy has written original songs for eight Wilco albums and collaborated with folk singer Billy Bragg to bring musical life to three albums-full of Woody Guthrie-penned lyrics in the Mermaid Avenue series. His latest project is Tweedy, a musical collaboration with his 18 year old son and drummer Spencer Tweedy. The father/son duo’s debut album is called Sukierae and features 20 songs written by Jeff Tweedy. With Spencer on drums, Jeff handles his usual guitars and vocals, as well as bass and keyboards. Musician Scott McCaughey (R.E.M., The Minus Five, The Baseball Project) lends additional keyboards and backing vocals on Sukierae come courtesy of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the Brooklyn-­-band Lucius. — wilcoworld.net

Enter for a chance to win!

Ceramic Exhibit Offers Rare Glimpse Into A Very Distant Past

Ceramics Exhibition Explores Craftsmanship Over 6,000 Years
At Mount Holyoke College Art Museum through May 31, 2015

A wonderful example of ceramics as an “objets d’art.”

Have you ever taken a ceramics class? The feeling of the clay molding into recognizable shapes like bowls and plates is so satisfying, matched only by the feeling of accomplishment once the piece has been fired and glazed and is ready to be used. The creation—and usage—of functional objects has been part of the human experience for as long as humans have existed, and the ways in which these objects are made and regarded has evolved over time. From the purely practical and utilitarian to veritable objets d’art, ceramics have served a wide range of people in an even wider range of ways. And as the world’s peoples grew, developed, and traveled, so did their tools and artwork; this allowed for further dispersion and interchange of ideas and techniques. Read the rest of this entry »

High Tech Planetarium Takes Us to the Stars

Williams College Host Planetarium Show this Fall

Williams College in Williamstown, MA, invites families to experience the wonders of our universe at their Milham Planetarium, located inside the Old Hopkins Observatory at Williams College. Astronomy students at the college will host free shows for the public on Friday evenings at 8pm, September 12-December 5, 2014.

The Hopkins Observatory, built in 1836-38 by the first professor of astronomy at Williams College, Albert Hopkins, is the oldest extant observatory in the United States.

Audiences will be treated to shows hosted by Williams College students from their high-precision Zeiss Skymaster ZKP3/B opto-mechanical planetarium projector, installed in April 2005.  The Zeiss Skymaster is capable of demonstrating phenomena including: retrograde motions of the planets, phases of the moon, the varying temperatures/colors of stars, locations of neighboring galaxies, the mythological figures and zodiacal signs ascribed to constellations, the Southern Hemisphere’s sky, comets, artificial satellites, and much more.

For reservations (recommended) contact Michele Rech at 413-597-2188 or email at mcr4@williams.edu. Others will be admitted as space permits. Large groups should call for special appointments. Shows will last about 50 minutes.

The Hopkins Observatory is on a small hill on the north side of Main Street east of Spring Street in Williamstown and just east of Lawrence Hall Drive, on which planetarium patrons share parking with the Williams College Museum of Art. A campus map showing the Hopkins Observatory’s location can be found on the www.williams.edu or at 829 Main Street, Williamstown, MA.

- Submitted by Noelle Lemoine


Autumn Leaf Collecting Supports Art & Science

The Art & Science of Autumn Leaves

Leaf collecting can alert children to the presence of many types of trees in their neighborhood, and provides them with some beautiful and all-natural materials with which to craft and create nature art!

With the end of summer comes back-to-school season, a time when notebooks, crayons, and homework planners can take over the place that flowers, tall grass, and vegetable gardens hold in our daily routines during the summer. As lush green plants change hues, it can be easy to let the change of seasons happen without engaging with the new exterior design that Mother Nature provides. The change of colors and landscape is, though, the perfect reason not to let early fall pass by unnoticed…

Read the rest of this entry »

The Good Life: Connecting on the Last Days of Summer

The Good Life: A Year of Thoughtful Seasons by Sarah Mattison Buhl

Summer’s Sweet Relief

This way for a welcome diversion!

Last weekend, I went with my littlest kids to the Tri-County Fair in Northampton, MA.  It turns out that there have been close to 200 of them, and it is the oldest “agricultural fair” in the Nation.  Being at the fair is a throwback.  Not to a gentler age, but to the inescapable grittiness that has always been part of fairs everywhere.  Sure, some things are different.  In 1816, a person might have eaten beans and ham with corn bread on the midway.  Now people eat fried cheese cake and chocolate covered bacon.  Decades ago, a new showcase food might have been the now blasé ice cream cone. Last weekend I saw caffeinated peanut butter.

We spent money on slushies in swirly cups, “won” 50-cent stuffed animals after spending ten dollars, and saw an arctic fox.  It was hot. We had a terrific time.  You see, we were celebrating the beginning of a new school year.  The earlier part of the day was spent trying frantically to connect with friends and make last minute plans for the final day of summer.  Tensions and anxieties were running high as the kids feverishly recognized that summer was coming to an end.  When it dawned on me that the real reason for their irritation and frustration was time, or really, lack of it, I changed my course.  Read the rest of this entry »

Science Cafes Provide Unique Community-Based Learning Opportunity

Non-traditional Setting makes Science Accessible

Science Cafes, a grassroots movement to open science to everyone and to bring presentations and engaging conversations into casual community settings, have come to Western MA. Here we feature two that take place on Mondays in the Pioneer Valley…

For families living in western Massachusetts, there are lots of opportunities to learn about science topics present within our communities. Local museums offer endless science-related exhibits, and explorations of the biodiversity and natural history present within our local landscape take place year-round (we’re hardy in these parts!). However, opportunities to interact with actual scientists – the experts and researchers who make discoveries – are far fewer and further between. But now, thanks to two local Science Cafes, students can do just that!

In Hadley, the OEB Science Cafe brings monthly events to Esselon Cafe on Mondays. Run by graduate students and faculty of the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology program at UMass (hence the OEB title), the cafe’s topics follow along the theme of evolutionary biology and teach participants about topics ranging from the similarities between ants and humans to the way that a bird’s brain learns songs. Though the cafes are designed with adults in mind, self-directed teens and tweens with an interest in biology are welcome and can certainly learn lots by attending. Each OEB Science Cafe takes place from 6-7pm, and is free!

In Amherst, the SciTech Cafe meets at Amherst Brewing Company on the 4th Monday of each month. Covering topics within the realm of science and technology – a vast field, the cafe’s next two upcoming topics are the science of alien worlds (also known as space technology) and the science of sleep. Each event will include a talk by an expert, as well as time for questions and even a game!

Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS National Parks Episode with Guest DJ, Jeff Wolin (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

National Parks Episode with Guest DJ, Jeff Wolin

Join Guest DJ, National Parks Service Ranger Jeff Wolin (aka Ranger Jeff) from his ranger station in the mountains of Colorado for a musical tour of our National Parks. While families are dancing and singing, everyone will get a musical exploration of our country’s great natural and cultural treasures. From a polka about a revolutionary war hero to sea turtles in the Gulf Islands, this national park themed show will keep you moving and perhaps inspire you and your family to visit a park near you!

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
September 6th & 7th, 2014
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

FEATURED VIDEO:  “Let’s Move Outside” by Erica Falls from Songs for Junior Rangers


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Bruce Barnes – “Humps, Hooves, and Horns” [Songs for Junior Rangers]
  • Lucky Diaz (featuring David Lee Garza) – “De Colores” [Aqui, Alla]
  • Jim Gill – “California” [Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times]
  • Dee Dee Graves – “Spelunca Funka” [Songs for Junior Rangers]
  • The WhizPops – “Manta Ray” [Sea Blue Sea]
  • Jeff Wolin – “Turtle Up, Turtle Down” [Songs for Junior Rangers]
  • Trout Fishing in America – “Thaddeus Kosciuszko Polka” [Songs for Junior Rangers]
  • Trout Fishing in America – “Martin Luther King & Rosa Parks” [Big Round World]
  • The Banana Slug String Band – “River Song” [We All Live Downstream]
  • Jeff Wolin – “Beach Party at High Altitude” [Songs for Junior Rangers]
  • Erica Falls – “Let’s Move Outside” [Songs for Junior Rangers]
  • Bruce Barnes – “New Orleans Jazz” [Songs for Junior Rangers]
  • Billy B. – “The Peregrine” [Nature in the City]
  • Jeff Wolin – “Explore, Learn, Protect” [Songs for Junior Rangers]

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for September 6th & 7th, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for September 6th-12th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, 26 Community Highlights: Water Mills to Woodworking. Family Volunteering to Radical Mycology., and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

September 6th-12th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

TransportationEntomologyMuseum AdventuresMycologyArtisan TradeImmigration U.S. HistorySTEMLocal HistoryCommunity ServiceAnimal StudiesFood HistoryAstronomyWater MillsPreK Activities

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. In Search for Mushrooms!
  2. Oak & Acorn: Everything’s Coming up Apples!
  3. Citizen Scientists Opportunity: School of Ants
  4. 11 Recommended Art Studios/Classes in Western MA
  5. Woods of the World on Display at Lyman Plant House

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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26 Community Highlights: Water Mills to Woodworking. Family Volunteering to Radical Mycology.

Interested in mushrooms? There are a couple of mycology opportunities this week: Radical Mycology in Great Barrington on Thursday (Sep 11) and Fungus Among Us in Easthampton on Friday (Sep 12)

Water Mills to Woodworking. Immigration to Magna CartaFamily Volunteering to Radical Mycology… These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  All day on Sunday, September 7th, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in Hatfield is holding their 2nd annual Family Volunteer Day for family members of all ages – even toddlers can help out!  Activities include touring the Food Bank warehouse, sorting food, educational opportunities for kids, and more.  It is important that kids understand the value and importance of volunteering and community service, and this is an excellent opportunity to give them some hands-on experience volunteering for a great local organization.  This all-ages event shows that no one is too young to start making a difference in their community.  Please RSVP on their Facebook event page to let the Food Bank know how many family members will be attending.


TransportationEntomologyMuseum AdventuresMycologyArtisan TradeImmigration U.S. HistorySTEMLocal HistoryCommunity ServiceAnimal StudiesFood HistoryAstronomyWater MillsPreK Activities


Learn Local. Play Local is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

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Suggested Events for September 6th-12th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“We love heading to the farmers’ markets and farm festivals that are listed on Hilltown Families. And we’ve found that our kids eat veggies much more willingly when we talk about which farmer grew them, which fields they came out of, etc. Thanks for being a great resource.” Deborah Doulette (Whately, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Begins in Sep

Sign up for Theater Improvisation with Heidi Haas! Improv increases spontaneity, creativity and self-confidence. Classes focus on tuning into one’s scene partners, creating bold characters and developing skits with each other. Classes are offered for 6th-8th graders on Wednesdays from 3-5pm and for 1st-5th graders on Thursdays from 3:30-5pm in Florence, MA. The first 10 week session begins in Sept. Heidi has been teaching theater to children since 1996 and is also a clinical social worker with a specialty in child/family concerns. Check out her website at www.heidihaasimprov.com to register call: Heidi Haas 584-5562 or email Heidi_Haas@comcast.net.

Begins in Sep

Enrolling now! At The Center in Amherst, children spin stories from movement using classical and modern dance techniques. Sister duo Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special approach to teaching that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. Classes beginning in September for children ages 5 through 14, in downtown Amherst. For more information, visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com.

Sep 7

On Sunday, September 7, from 2 to 4 pm, the Northampton Community Music Center will host its annual Open House & Instrument Petting Zoo. Come see, hear and try out different musical instruments, meet our teachers, take free demo classes, and enjoy a performance by NCMC’s ukulele choir. NCMC is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1986 with 50 professional faculty members serving more than 800 students annually. NCMC also hosts more than 75 performances and events each year. Programs include instruction in 25 different instruments, choruses, instrumental ensembles, vocal performance classes, recording studio classes, summer programs and special workshops. Financial aid available. For information, call 413-585-0001 or visit www.ncmc.net.

Sep 13

New in Greenfield: Kids Yoga! Celtic Heels is offering yoga classes for ages 3-teen in Greenfield starting in September. Every child should learn at an early age what they are capable of and exploring movement and creativity through yoga is a great way to achieve that goal. Small class sizes will enable each student to cultivate a growing relationship with the school’s accomplished, nurturing and certified instructor. Discounts are offered for additional family members in Irish dance, ballet and Celtic Cardio. Join Celtic Heels for their Free Yoga Day on Saturday, September 13 (and ask about their Irish dance and ballet lesson day too). For additional information email celticheels@gmail.com or visit their website: www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

Sep 14

On Sunday, September 14th at 4pm, join your fellow book lovers from the Odyssey Bookshop at the Jones Library in Amherst for an afternoon of magic and adventure! Hear from two master storytellers as they share their new book: The Iron Trial, Book One of Magesterium. From the imaginations of #1 bestselling authors Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) and Cassandra Clare (the Mortal Instruments series) comes a heart-stopping plunge into the magical unknown. Perfect for Harry Potter fans! Space is limited but you can reserve your seat at www.odysseybks.com! Ages 7-70!

Begins Sep 19

Earthwork Programs Heron & Swift Eagle Homeschool Programs are starting Friday, September 19 (9:30am-2pm), in Amherst, MA, for ages 7+. For the last 15 years, hundreds of children have developed their Nature Awareness, Wilderness Survival Skills & Mentoring with Frank Grindrod. Curriculum covered is seasonal according to the cycles of nature and is designed to allow students to explore what interests them but still revolve around group studies. $610-$720, sliding scale, for 12-week fall session (includes bound Journal/Handbook). Winter & spring sessions available as well. Register online ASAP: www.earthworkprograms.com or call 413-340-1161 or email Frank: frank@earthworkprograms.com.

Sept 20

Join in the fun of the jigs and reels at Celtic Heels! A dance school in Greenfield offering lessons for ages 3+ in Irish Dance, Celtic Music, Ballet and KidsYoga; as well as, classes specifically for adults has something for everyone and discounts are offered for additional family members. Join Celtic Heels for their Free Irish Dance + Ballet Day on Saturday, September 20 (and ask about their free yoga lesson day too). For additional information email celticheels@gmail.com or visit their website at www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

Sep 28

On Sunday, Sept. 28th, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts will be hosting their 4th annual Will Bike 4 Food (WB4F) charity cycling event. When you’re at cookouts and picnics throughout the summer, it’s the perfect time to pull your family, friends and neighbors together to form a team and ride to end hunger. Forming a team is easy (4 or more). With multiple courses to choose from—a 10, 25, 50 or 100 mile loop—riders of any level to become involved. Registration is easy and only takes a few minutes. Don’t miss the post-race for a celebration with complimentary food, beer from Berkshire Brewing Company, and family activities. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at www.foodbankwma.org/events/bike.

Fall Openings

Spaces available! Nonotuck Community School is accepting applications for children 15 mos. to 5 years. January start date is available for younger children not old enough to start now. Open from 7:30am – 5:30pm and located in Northampton, Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. They emphasize community, emotional intelligence and resilience and provide ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development throughout the school day. A parent cooperative. Contact: info@nonotuck.org or 413-586-5996 or www.nonotuck.org.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, fall program, after school class, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 6th-12th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now

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Autumn Bucket List for Western MA

Parenting Green: Take Nature’s Lead

Go with the Flow

Have you ever had that moment, where something you’ve heard over and over again finally takes on a whole new meaning? I found that happening to me once before when observing my neighbors chickens for quite some time feeding in the yard, and truly understood what was meant to be called ‘a chicken.’ Well this moment was a similar embodiment of a saying found routed in nature that was really brought to life by engagement and observation.

On a recent vacation, my family was taking out some canoes and kayaks in a saltwater river that connected the bay side to the ocean side of Cape Cod. The direction of the current was dependent on high and low tide. If you timed it right you could ideally ride the current in one direction and wait for the tides to turn and then have the same ease in riding it back. The trip that we were journeying on this particular time was going to be a short exploration, so we figured it would be easier to ride the current at the end of the trip, so we headed upstream first. Read the rest of this entry »

Schubert Sound Installation at Mead Art Museum

Sounding Space Experience Beautifully Dissects Masterpiece

Visitors to the Mead Art Museum in Amherst, MA, are now surrounded, not just by art, but by the music of Franz Schubert (1797-1828), in a sound installation that opens Tuesday, Aug. 26, and runs until Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. This special installation features a five-channel recording of the slow movement from Schubert’s Cello Quintet (1828), played by the Brentano String Quartet and Michael Kannen, director of chamber music at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. The quintet’s second movement, approximately 16 minutes long, plays once every half hour.

Special Sound Installation Featuring Schubert’s Cello Quintet at Mead Art Museum in Amherst, MA.

Five speakers are arranged in an oval configuration in the Mead’s Rotherwas Room, the ornately carved seventeenth-century English room that serves as a gallery, event and performance space, and reading room. Each speaker is dedicated to one instrument from the ensemble, which includes two violins, viola, and two cellos. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning About Immigration in Modern Times at Norman Rockwell Museum

Norman Rockwell Museum To Host 3rd Annual United States Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony

For the third year, Norman Rockwell Museum is partnering with the Berkshire Immigrant Center to host a naturalization ceremony, to be held in the Museum’s galleries on Saturday, September 6th, 2014, starting at 10am.  Berkshire County residents who immigrated to the country from around the world will be sworn-in as new naturalized United States citizens during a special ceremony to be held against the backdrop of Norman Rockwell’s iconic Four Freedoms paintings.

Often, immigration is taught to students in a way that focuses on the history of immigration in the United States. Central to the development of our country and responsible for bringing people from all over the world to be part of communities across America, immigration is discussed with students mainly in the past tense. We focus on who immigrated when and why, without spending much time looking at who is immigrating now. Learning about immigration as something that happened in the past does, of course, help students develop an understanding of the ways in which our country has constantly changed throughout the last few centuries, but it doesn’t teach them that the United States is continuously evolving. By examining modern immigration, students can develop an understanding of what immigration means in modern times…

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Hindsight Parenting: Coping with Your “Child” going to College

Five Things You Don’t Do The Day After Leaving Your Child at College

By JlsElsewhere at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Wasted Time R, Stewart715 at en.wikipedia. [Public domain], from Wikimedia CommonsAlthough he’s twenty, just last week, Son1 went “off” to college for the first time. For the past two years, he’d been attending classes at our local community college trying to figure out what he wanted to do. This past spring, all his hard work there paid off and he was accepted to many colleges and universities. He chose a college in Connecticut. (Not a huge surprise since Magicalfairyprincessgirlfriend goes there as well.)

Since this is a first for me, a child leaving…really leaving the nest…I had no Hindsight to lean on, and so I had to rely on my gut instead. The week before, I kept checking in with myself on how I was feeling with all this moving away to a new state, new city, hours away from his family. And well…for the entire week before…heck even while I was setting up his chic dorm room my gut said that I was just fine. All I was feeling, seemingly, was pride and excitement. This move ultimately was what every parent strives for while raising their children. He was unfurling his wings, moving into adulthood with grace and assurance. I am proud. I was and am excited. Even as I said goodbye, the pride swelled in me. “Off you go first born love of my life. Go and live this experience to the fullest.” Then I got in the car…Then I got home. Then…then I woke up the next day and well, the pride and excitement was still there, but so was this distinct melancholy; a weepy sort of lonely feeling that got worse as the day went on. I realized very quickly that the day after dropping my child off to college was going to feel worse than the day of. Tear triggers were everywhere and I learned the hard way the top five things NOT to do the day after dropping your child off at college… Read the rest of this entry »

Culture in a Box Broadens World View and Promotes Diversity

Culture Box Swaps Offer Children the Collaborative Experience of Sharing and Learning about Different Cultures.

What would you include in a box to swap with someone from a different culture that best represents where you live? A western MA family could include maple syrup, a leaflet to an agricultural fair, an apple cutter, post cards from our many small towns, pictures of native animals, press local wild flowers… what else would you include? Think about what best represents your local culture that could easily be shared with someone wanting to learn more about life in your region.

Families in western Massachusetts are lucky to live in such a culturally diverse area, where communities are filled with opportunities for folks to learn about, and share cultural traditions. Engaging children in cultural studies – whether formally or informally – is a wonderful way to teach them about the many different traditions, histories, and world views that make up their own community and the entire world. Exploring a culture that’s different from your own can help children to try on many different metaphorical hats – they can test out different worldviews, consider the belief systems behind a variety of religions, and imagine existing in a community that’s vastly different from their own. Equally as meaningful as learning about different cultures is teaching others about your own. In working to explain the importance of certain things within their own family or community, culture can help children to better understand themselves, their community, and the roots of the traditions and belief system they share.

Families can engage in a combination of both of these activities – learning about other cultures and teaching about their own – by taking part in culture box swaps.  Culture box swaps are similar to participating in international pen pal relationships, except that the exchange takes place only once, and instead of letters, families send actual items that they’ve collected. Items included in culture boxes are intended to teach recipients about the culture from which they’ve emerged. While families must always be careful to obey international mailing rules, boxes can be filled with a wide variety of items to show families abroad what family culture is like here in western Massachusetts. Conversely, families who create and send boxes teaching about their local culture will receive a culture box in return, filled with a collection created by another family to showcase important parts of their own culture – wherever it may be from! Read the rest of this entry »

County Fair Teaches Importance of Community Service

Volunteer at the Franklin County Fair!

Volunteers are needed to assist with the recycling and compost program at the Franklin County Fair in Greenfield. This volunteer opportunity would be good for older students, especially those interested in composting and/or recycling. Volunteering at a large event like the Franklin County Fair can teach students the importance of community service and how valuable volunteers are when it comes to making events like this run with minimal waste.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the recycling and compost program at the Franklin County Fair in Greenfield. The fair runs from Sept 4-7, 2014, and volunteers are needed from Sept 3-10, 2014.  Volunteers will be responsible for collecting recyclables and compostable material from the designated bins, sorting and processing the materials, and monitoring the bins during fair hours.  All volunteers get free admission to the Fair and are able to explore the fairgrounds and enjoy all the fair has to offer before and after shifts and during breaks.  A great community service opportunity for teens and families to do together!

Last year volunteers helped the Fair recycled and composted over 3.3 tons of materials!  This volunteer opportunity would be good for older students, especially those interested in composting and/or recycling.  Volunteering at a large event like the Franklin County Fair can teach students the importance of community service and how valuable volunteers are when it comes to making events like this run with minimal waste.

The sign-up deadline for volunteers is Sept 3rd, 2014, at 5pm.  Sign up &  more information here.  Please email or call Amy Donovan if you have any questions at amy@franklincountywastedistrict.org or 413-772-2438.  The fair takes place at 89 Wisdom Way in Greenfield, MA.  More information on the Franklin County Fair can be found on the fair’s website.

Off the Mat: The Art of Choosing a Parenting Response

Enjoy the Ride

My five year old son is in his room, slamming the door. Deliberately and with precision. He’s got highly sensitive ears – auditory processing the occupational therapist calls it – and I can only assume he’s seeking Just. The. Right. Sound.  The SLAM! that will echo through the walls and into my bones set my teeth on edge. Sound rises above the bathroom fan but is muted by the water pressure, warm streams trickling down my hair, ears, face, shoulders. The water, the curtain, the closed door give me the ever so slight space I need to view the scene with a hint of detachment. Amusement, even, though shame lingers around the edges, like mildew never quite scrubbed from the grout.

Occupying the weeks between school and camp, we’re back from a 3 day urban adventure: Amtrak, NJ Transit, and a myriad of subway lines.  He’s a stellar traveler, fueled by curiosity and wonder and an obsessive love of trains.  Take him out of his ordinary and he shows his extraordinary. I thoroughly enjoy time with the big boy he’s becoming.

So it’s no surprise really when blubbery-whiny-tedious boy returns upon arrival home.  And along with him, short-tempered-uninspired-reactive Mama. Read the rest of this entry »

Bird Identification in Western Massachusetts Made Easy, and Fun!

The Fun of Bird Identification in Western Massachusetts Made Easy

Blue bunting in West Chesterfield, MA.

Birds are everywhere this time of year, some migrating, some that stay with us over winter. Do you know who you’re sharing your yard with? Birds of all sorts have long since migrated to and from western Massachusetts, nesting here for the summer or passing through in their migrations… and it’s high time to get out and get birding!

Birds species can, of course, be identified by looking at them – their size, shape, color, feather pattern, and other distinctive markings help to distinguish one species from another. But what happens if you can’t get a close look at a bird? What if a flash of red passes by up ahead on a trail, or you’ve spotted a raptor soaring high above you? Often times you’re left with only a roadside silhouette of a sighting with which to try and identify a species, and using physical features alone can sometimes be very difficult. On top of the challenges presented by partial sightings are the similarities that some species share – it can be hard to tell which small, semi-spotted brown-and-white bird you’re seeing if you don’t have binoculars allowing you a closer look.

Click here to read on for resources on how to identify birds by their calls and upcoming birding events in Western MA…

Berkshire Family Fun: September 2014

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
September 2014

Housatonic Heritage Walks take place Sept 20 & 21 and then again Oct 4 & 5. Don’t miss these community-based educational opportunities taking place in Western MA this fall!

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of September. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

“I love Hilltown Families for helping us find something to do on any day of the week. We have meet such wonderful people at the various events they have posted. They are a great source for community.” – Alisa Blanchard (Pittsfield, MA)


Berkshire Family Fun is sponsored in part by:

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