Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hog (Island) Heaven

Oh. My.

It's going to be impossible for me to write about the past week and do it any sort of justice. At least not in fewer than 50,000 words. We had amazing campers and outrageously fun and knowledgeable instructors, awesome support staff and an unparalleled location. We spent days in the field and evenings enthralled by guest speakers including author Lynne Cherry, seabird expert Steve Kress, and 12-year-old conservation activist Olivia Bouler. For now I'll let pictures tell the story... and if you want to see more, the camp has a growing Flickr site here.

Sharing Nature: An Educators' Week

Hog Island Audubon Camp from the mainland.
57 educators serving populations from pre-school through adult
spent 5 action-packed days exploring coastal habitats.
Here, getting up close and personal with the intertidal zone
at Indian Lagoon.

What did we find in the seine net?
Crabs and sea stars, herring and lumpfish, mollusks and
crab worms, shrimp and lobster and even a flounder!
Field sketchers at work in camp.
You know you're with your peeps when one idea of a good time
is sitting under the apple tree contemplating the identification
of unusual animal droppings.

One of the highlights of camp week is a visit by boat to Eastern
Egg Rock, home of a re-established Atlantic puffin colony.
Campers aboard the Snow Goose III scan for seabirds.
And here are the puffins! We hit them on a great week... I was
out here once before during August and most of the birds had
dispersed already. We easily saw 100 of the little beasts... plus
gannets (my favorite), terns, gulls... and harbor porpoise!
After a few turns around Eastern Egg Rock we went ashore at
Harbor Island. Picnic on the beach and then several hiking
options to explore this beautiful location.

There are many habitats to discover on Hog Island, including a
small bog. Carnivorous plants here include pitcher plants and
Spruce and pine forests dominate the center of Hog Island, and
this group of happy campers dominated the examination of
ferns, moss, and fungus on the forest floor.
Campers and staff on the last night... lobster dinner, puffin
pastry desert, and contra dancing for the masses. Thanks,
everyone, for a spectacular experience.
Sunset, Muscongus Bay, from Hog Island.
(Actually, this shot is from the door to the
women's bathroom. Not bad, eh?)


Linocut in Progress: Let's wrap this up!

 Okay...  Remember that cartoon in which a couple of scientists stand at a chalk board filled with complex equations, at the bottom of which...