For those of you who couldn’t make it to the first of the Lectures on the Lawn series at Topsmead, (DEEP Master Wildlife Conservationist Ginny Apple’s February presentation on the resurgence of bald eagles in Connecticut), do not despair. Ginny will be back at Topsmead to give us a slide presentation on the state of the black bears in Connecticut. You know, those black and fuzzy bundles of adorable-ness romping through the countryside of our back yards, those ravenous critters who despoil and devour our seed-filled bird feeders, those ebony hibernators who are at this very moment awakening from their winter slumbers as March careens into warmer temperatures. Come to the carriage shed at 1:30pm on Saturday, March 14, for a fact-filled, photo-full presentation on these critters. If you have a few spare minutes, why not come a bit early to help Janet Blauvelt, the indomitable organizer, set up the new slide screen and set out cozy fleece blankets on the chairs to welcome the crowd. And oh, there might even be some hot chocolate!
Topsmead was literally asleep for parts of January and February because of its treacherous blanket of ice. The DEEP struggled to find an effective treatment to combat the icing of the parking lot and even closed the property on days when the footing was deemed too hazardous. The DEEP has closed the property to the public on March 3-5 to conduct a clean up of the many hazardous tree branches and boughs brought down by the winter ice and do maintenance tree work along the road and in the woods along the trails.
The warmer temps are not only waking up life at Topsmead, they are also waking up spring volunteer opportunities. Friends of Topsmead Annual Field Work Day is scheduled for May 17. This annual landscape clean up will be organized by Jared Rice, our Topsmead Unit Park Supervisor. Sure it is two months away and who knows what winter still has in store for us, but save the date and mark your calendars.
Another volunteer opportunity that is waking up as we move towards spring at Topsmead is Janet Blauvelt’s bluebird box trail project. The boxes will be needing folks to help with nest box repairs so the boxes will be ready to welcome our returning bluebird population.
All of which brings us to the good news that FTSF has a new volunteer coordinator: many thanks and welcome to Marylou Gottler. If you would enjoy working outside and would like to make Topsmead and its flora and fauna happier and more beautiful this year, let Marylou know what volunteer opportunity or opportunities you are interested in signing up for. She would be delighted if you would volunteer by emailing her at friendsoftopsmead@gmail and writing “attention Marylou” in the subject line.
Stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities as Topsmead continues to awaken.