october, 2019

October

Event Details

Questions? Call Pam at 301-652-9188 x16 or email pam.oves@anshome.org.

OCTOBER

For Goodness Snakes 
Thursday, October 3 (7-9 pm) 
Leader: Kerry Wixted 
Free, but registration required. 
Snakes are fascinating yet highly misunderstood creatures. Learn the basics about snake biology and why we should care about them, as well as information on several of the species that call Maryland home. From the secretive rainbow snake to the social timber rattlesnake, Maryland’s snake species are highly diverse. Our presenter is Wildlife Education and Outreach Specialist for the MD Dept. of Natural Resources. REGISTER.

Fall Fungus Walk 
Saturday, October 5 (9 am-12:30 pm) 
Leader: Serenella Linares 
Members $26; nonmembers $36 
Fall is a great time to get introduced to the most common families of fungi in our area and find out more about their natural history and many ecological functions. Our outdoor classroom will be our own Woodend Sanctuary, where the natural surface trails will include some uphill and downhill walking. Note: the focus of our field trip is fungi’s important and under-appreciated role in forest ecology, not the edibility of particular species of mushrooms. REGISTER.

On the Move at Cape May  FULL – email pam.oves@anshome.org to register for waitlist.
Monday, October 7 (8 am) to Tuesday, October 8 (4 pm) 
Optional 3rd day: Wednesday, October 9 (8 am-4 pm) 
Leader: Mark Garland 
Two-day trip: Members $120; nonmembers $168 
Optional 3rd day: $50
Cape May is an astounding place to witness autumn migration.  Under the right weather conditions, a single day can bring several thousand southbound hawks, tens of thousands of migrating songbirds, and thousands of Monarch butterflies onto the southern tip of New Jersey.  Waterfowl, herons, dragonflies and even bats also travel through Cape May in October.  Under the guidance of an expert naturalist and birder who’s a local, we’ll visit many of the diverse natural areas around Cape May and celebrate the rich spectacle of fall migration.  Overnight options include hotels, B&B’s, owner rentals, and campgrounds in and around Cape May, which are booked by participants themselves.

Midweek Meanders Along the Canal 
Wednesdays (10 am-12:30 pm) 
C: October 9 – Violettes Lock FULL
D: October 23 – Pennyfield Lock  FULL
E: November 20 – Widewater FULL
F: December 4 – Swain’s Lock FULL
Leader: Stephanie Mason 
Each walk members $25; nonmembers $35 
Enjoy one or all of these leisurely autumn walks along portions of the C&O Canal that enjoy less traffic than the towpath stretches close to Washington. The focus of our walks, each beginning from a different location, will be general natural history of the varied habitats along the Potomac River and the C&O Canal. We’ll proceed at a “naturalist’s shuffle” pace, stopping often to observe birds, fall wildflowers and foliage, butterflies, snakes, turtles — and whatever else we might find. Participants interested in carpooling will meet at Woodend. 

Intro to Tree Identification 
Friday, October 11 (10 am-3 pm) 
Leader: Stephanie Mason 
Members $34; nonmembers $48 
Fall is a great time to learn to identify our local trees and shrubs. With brilliant leaves highlighting the twigs, new buds already formed, and many fruits hanging on, there are lots of distinguishing features that help sort out the various species. This program at our Woodend Sanctuary will begin indoors with a look at some techniques of tree identification, coupled with practice using a simple key. We’ll then move outdoors to use our new skills to identify many of the trees growing on the grounds. Both beginners and those who want to brush up on their ID skills are welcome. REGISTER.

Fall Birding Series 
D. Saturday, October 12: Patuxent River Park/Jug Bay Natural Area, MD (Mark England) (8-11am)
E. Sunday, October 20: Blue Mash Nature Trail, MD (Lisa Norwalk & Len Bisson) (8-11 am) FULL
F. Saturday, November 2: Dyke Marsh, VA  (Paul Pisano) (8-11 am)  
G. Sunday, November 10: Hughes Hollow, MD  (Lisa Shannon & Rob Hilton) (8-11 am) FULL
H. Saturday, November 23: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, DC (Lisa Shannon & Rob Hilton) (8-11 am) FULL
Each walk members $26; nonmembers $36
Our fall birding series visits eight protected areas, all under an hour’s drive from D.C., where a variety of habitats — including field, forest, and wetland — provide good opportunities for the observation and identification of birds in autumn. On the earliest walks, we’ll hope to catch some southbound migrants. As the season progresses, we’ll watch for sparrows, raptors, waterfowl, and other birds. These teaching walks are aimed at beginning to mid-level birders, but all are welcome. Most of our explorations will be on natural surface trails that may be uneven or muddy, but some destinations include mild uphill and downhill.  Image credit: Cephas REGISTER.

Natural Heritage Hike: Calvert Cliffs State Park 
Sunday, October 13 (10 am-4:30 pm) 
Leader: Stephanie Mason 
Members $34; nonmembers $48 
While most visit Calvert Cliffs State Park for the marine fossils along its Chesapeake Bay Beach, this park in southern Maryland offers rich natural history as well. We’ll hike out to the Bay and back (total of 4 miles) as we explore coastal plain forests, marshland, and stream valley habitats. We’ll look and listen for all manner of fall wildlife activity, as we make stops along the way to study plant communities in their seasonal aspects. The Park charges a per car admission fee. Carpooling will be encouraged and facilitated with a central meeting point not far outside the Beltway. REGISTER.

Wonders at Woodend: Forest Bathing through the Seasons
Wednesdays (10 am-Noon)
Section D: October 16
FULL – email pam.oves@anshome.org to register for waitlist.

Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Each walk members $26; nonmembers $36
Savor the natural joys of each season on forest bathing walks led by Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a longtime ANS field trip leader and the author of The Joy of Forest Bathing—Reconnect with Wild Places & Rejuvenate Your Life. Discover the magic of shinrin-yoku, translated as “forest bathing,” a nature-oriented mindfulness practice that originated in Japan and has become popular all over the world. Our leader is a Nature & Forest Therapy Guide with certification from the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides and Programs of Sonoma County, California. Experience the restoration of Woodend as we explore and commune with the living things in our meadows, forest, and Blair Garden. A serving of maple sap “tea” and a sharing of nature poetry will conclude each walk.

Native Plant Gardening  SORRY – CANCELLED
Fall Walk: Thursday, October 17 (10 am-Noon)
Leader: Stephanie Mason
Members $20; nonmembers $28
Explore the Blair Native Plant Garden, located just outside the Sanctuary Shop, with our Senior Naturalist who helped develop the garden and its educational focus. Find out more about the values of gardening with native plant species, including: lower maintenance; more value to native birds, butterflies and other insects, including pollinators; reduced negative impact on local ecosystems, and more. We’ll discuss native alternatives to popular non-native species such as English ivy, as well as resources for broadening one’s knowledge and understanding of plants natives to the mid-Atlantic. You’re welcome to bring along a bag lunch to eat with the leader after the walks, which are scheduled to highlight seasonal aspects of the garden. REGISTER.

Fall Birding Series 
E. Sunday, October 20: Blue Mash Nature Trail, MD (Lisa Norwalk & Len Bisson) (8-11 am) FULL
F. Saturday, November 2: Dyke Marsh, VA  (Paul Pisano) (8-11 am) 
G. Sunday, November 10: Hughes Hollow, MD  (Lisa Shannon & Rob Hilton) (8-11 am) FULL
H. Saturday, November 23: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, DC (Lisa Shannon & Rob Hilton) (8-11 am) FULL
Each walk members $26; nonmembers $36
Our fall birding series visits eight protected areas, all under an hour’s drive from D.C., where a variety of habitats — including field, forest, and wetland — provide good opportunities for the observation and identification of birds in autumn. On the earliest walks, we’ll hope to catch some southbound migrants. As the season progresses, we’ll watch for sparrows, raptors, waterfowl, and other birds. These teaching walks are aimed at beginning to mid-level birders, but all are welcome. Most of our explorations will be on natural surface trails that may be uneven or muddy, but some destinations include mild uphill and downhill. REGISTER.

Fall in the Parks 
Sundays (8:30 am-1 pm) 
B. October 20—Pennyfield Lock, C&O Canal, MD 
C. November 17—US National Arboretum, DC FULL
Leaders: Stephanie Mason & Cathy Stragar
Each walk: members $28; nonmembers $38 
Sign up for one or all of these seasonal, broad-based nature explorations of nearby parks rich in natural history. We’ll walk between 3-4 miles, on natural surface and possibly muddy trails, as we enjoy the development of fall color, late season blooms and butterflies, resident and migrating birds, and all manner of wildlife.  The C&O Canal Towpath will be our trail along the Potomac as we walk upriver from Pennyfield Lock, MD, near Potomac, MD. Our explorations in the National Arboretum in Southeast DC will visit the Fern Valley area and adjacent woodlands and prairie habitat plantings. REGISTER.

Midweek Meanders Along the Canal 
Wednesdays (10 am-12:30 pm) 
D: October 23 – Pennyfield Lock FULL 
E: November 20 – Widewater FULL
F: December 4 – Swain’s Lock FULL
Leader: Stephanie Mason 
Each walk members $25; nonmembers $35 
Enjoy one or all of these leisurely autumn walks along portions of the C&O Canal that enjoy less traffic than the towpath stretches close to Washington. The focus of our walks, each beginning from a different location, will be general natural history of the varied habitats along the Potomac River and the C&O Canal. We’ll proceed at a “naturalist’s shuffle” pace, stopping often to observe birds, fall wildflowers and foliage, butterflies, snakes, turtles — and whatever else we might find. Participants interested in carpooling will meet at Woodend. 

Fall on Wheels Along the Canal 
Friday, October 25 (9 am-3 pm) 
Leader: Stephanie Mason 
Members $34; nonmembers $48 
Fall colors are ablaze and the towpath along the Potomac River is one of the finest places in the D.C. Metro area to experience this season’s richness. In order to cover more territory and visit more habitats, we’ll use bikes to explore the stretch from Swain’s Lock to Riley’s Lock, a 12.3 mile round-trip ride. We’ll dismount often to look for fall fruits and admire lingering fall foliage, while keeping an eye and ear open for fall migrants, overwintering birds, and other still-active wildlife. Bring your own bike. REGISTER.

Geology of Soapstone Valley FULL – email pam.oves@anshome.org to register for waitlist.
Saturday, October 26 (1-4 pm) 
Leader: Joe Marx 
Members $26; Nonmembers $36 
Soapstone Valley, in the Van Ness section of the District of Columbia, provides a pleasant, surprisingly quiet hike through deep woods. Extending about a mile from Connecticut Avenue to Broad Branch, the valley cuts across no less than four geological formations, all related to the Taconic Orogeny. We will walk about two miles, out-and-back, from the trailhead on Albemarle St. NW, near UDC. Although the trail, an old, unpaved road, is wide and relatively easy, there are seven crossings of the little stream, none with bridges. Ups and downs are gentle, but the trail drops several hundred vertical feet on its way to Broad Branch and, of course, the altitude must be regained on the return. Our geology hikes typically move at a faster pace than our normal naturalists’ shuffle.

Walk Among the Giants
D. Sunday, October 27 (8 am-Noon)
Leader: Stephanie Mason
Members $28; nonmembers $38
Walk among the giant Sycamores, Oaks, and River Birches on this seasonal series of explorations along the Potomac River just upstream of Great Falls, MD. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open for all manner of wildlife, and watch the winter woods turn green, and then summer sultry before fall colors herald the coming of another winter. Our floodplain trail, connecting with the Towpath, is mostly level, but could be muddy as we walk our loop of roughly 2.5 miles. REGISTER.

Fall Tree ID for Birders FULL – email pam.oves@anshome.org to register for waitlist.
Sunday, October 27 (2:30-4 pm) 
Leader: Stephanie Mason 
Free, but registration required. 
With trees ablaze in fall colors and their fruits hanging high, we’ll learn the identifying characteristics visible through binoculars of the most common species of trees and shrubs along the C&O Canal towpath upstream of Carderock

Botanical Gems of Little Bennett Park 
Sunday, October 27 (9 am-12:30 pm) 
Leader: Carole Bergmann 
Members $26; Nonmembers: $36
At 3,700 acres, Little Bennett Regional Park near Clarksburg, MD is a park where you can still get lost.  But don’t worry: our leader knows this park well.  With autumn color nearing peak, she’ll focus on the ID of fall fruits and seeds in the Park’s varied plant communities: mature forest, shrub thicket, riparian wetlands, and open meadows.  Expect some uphill and downhill on this hike of 2-3 miles. REGISTER.

The Natural and Cultural History of the Ag Reserve 
Tuesday, October 29 (9:30 am-4 pm) 
Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley & Stephanie Mason 
Members $36; nonmembers $54 
Thirty-five years ago, with regional farmland rapidly diminishing, Montgomery County had the foresight to set aside more than 90,000 acres of farms and open space in the western and northern third of the county as an “Agricultural Reserve.” Come explore this scenic, biologically diverse area and learn how it contributes to clean air and water, the availability of fresh local produce, and the overall quality of life for residents of the metro area. Our trip will visit a working CSA farm, a fall produce and pumpkin stand, an historical site, and perhaps an artist’s studio, time permitting, to experience the rich diversity of plants and wildlife (and human livelihoods) that thrive in the Reserve’s fields, meadows, wetlands, and rocky woodlands. REGISTER.

Questions? Call Pam at 301-652-9188 x16 or email pam.oves@anshome.org.

Time

Year Around Event (2019)