Keeler Tavern Museum To Host First Annual Spring Artisans’ Show

Distinguished artists and craftspeople from across the region will be present when the Keeler Tavern Museum hosts its inaugural Spring Artisans’ Show on Saturday, April 26, to be preceded by a special Preview Party on Friday evening, April 25.
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The Museum campus at 132 Main Street in Ridgefield—with its distinctive Cass Gilbert Carriage Barn, picturesque gardens, and charming Garden House — will be the setting for this premier event curated by VS Shows. The collection will feature fine art, high-quality handmade furniture, fiber, and home décor items, distinctive jewelry, and a wide range of one-of-a-kind offerings. A multi-media exhibit titled “Expressions: Spring – painting, sculpture & photography,” will be staged in the Carriage Barn. While Saturday visitors browse, children will be able to enjoy games and crafts of their own. Food will be available for purchase.

Some 20 notable artisans and artists from all over the region are expected to participate, including Ridgefield artists Peggy Thomas who will be displaying her pottery; Kokoon Jewelry designer Debbie Thornton; and painter Spencer Eldridge whose works will be shown in the Carriage Barn as part of “Expressions: Spring.” Among the regional artists featured are Pamela Dalton who will be showing her intricate paper cuts – Scherenschnitte; Heidi Howard, who paints 18th and 19th century trade and tavern signs; doll-maker Eva-Maria Araujo; Kathleen McDonald who makes chalkware figurines handcrafted from a collection of antique chocolate molds; and Robert Ferrucci, an artist of abstract action art, drip art and contemporary American Folk Art.

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Saturday show hours are 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM; admission that day is $8 ($7 with presentation of pre-show announcement postcard or advertisement). The special wine-and-cheese Preview Party on Friday evening will offer early purchasing from 6 – 9 PM, as well as opportunities to engage with artisans and artists; admission is $40 ($30 for Museum members). Proceeds from ticket sales on both days benefit the Keeler Tavern Museum, a non-profit historical site that is entirely self-funded.

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Free off-premises parking is available nearby. To make reception reservations, and for directions or other information, visit www.keelertavernmuseum.org or call (203) 438-5485. For information about the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Art and Dining in Falls Village – In Litchfield Hills

Falls Village is a bucolic town located in the far northwest corner of the Litchfield Hills. In addition to several excellent hiking trails, the village has several shops, a library boasting an art gallery, a museum and a fabulous country inn making this a wonderful spring destination.

Mullins, Deep End

Mullins, Deep End

The David M. Hunt Library, located on 63 Main Street in Falls Village, CT in the center of town has planned an art exhibit that will run through May 17. The featured painter is Patty Mullins whose exhibit, “Collected Stories,” presents a selection of the artist’s narrative and landscape canvases.

Patty Mullins, a resident of Sharon, is well-known for her evocative paintings, the narrative elements of which are a natural fit for the Queen Anne architecture of the David M. Hunt Library which has, like the paintings, numerous spaces to be alone, quiet, and thoughtful. The intimate landscapes of our region are also found in Ms. Mullins’ canvases, particularly the ones inspired by wetlands in Lakeville, Cornwall, and Sharon.

In a recent statement, the artist described her work: “For me, painting is a process of discovery. Like an archeologist, I start with an idea of what I’m after, but don’t know exactly what I’ll find; images trigger memory and emotion, and as I paint I follow the emotion and find layers of meaning…elements in my paintings include personal history, the history of painting, loss, desire, skewed vision, vertigo, self-absorption and self-containment. My current body of work includes landscapes, figures, portraits of objects, and a recurrent theme: for the real subject of my work is time; the spaces and the things that people leave behind.”

Mullins Orpheus

Mullins Orpheus

Patty Mullins exhibits her paintings locally in New England, as well as in New York and Philadelphia. Her work has been shown at the National Academy Museum, and is in the collections of Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy, Bianca Jagger, Campbell Scott, and Jamie Wyeth. Ms. Mullins’ work can be previewed on her website, www.PattyMullins.com.

Falls Village Inn

Falls Village Inn

After viewing this art show, stop into the Falls Village Inn located on 33 Railroad Street in the heart of this bucolic village. The Falls Village Inn features a lunch, taproom and dinner menu that acknowledges a desire for classic American comfort fare. Gorgeous accommodations are also available in comfortable rooms designed by Bunny Williams.

For more information call 860-824-0033 visit http://www.thefallsvillageinn.com.
For information on Hunt Library http://www.huntlibrary.org. For information on the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

BIOLOGIST FEATURED IN NEW IMAX® FILM WILL SHARE EXPERIENCES WITH LEMURS ON APRIL 17 AT THE MARITIME AQUARIUM AT NORWALK

Dr. Patricia Wright, the trailblazing scientist featured in the new IMAX® movie “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar,” will talk about her work with these endangered primates in a special presentation on Thurs., April 17 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

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Dr. Wright, a professor of biological anthropology at Stony Brook University on Long Island, is an expert on lemurs and the people and environment of Madagascar. The new IMAX movie, which opens at The Maritime Aquarium on April 4, blends two stories: the unique natural history of lemurs and Wright’s lifelong mission to help the strange and adorable creatures survive in the modern world.

“Dr. Wright is going to be in very high demand because of this wonderful new movie, so we feel especially fortunate to be able to welcome her so close to the premiere,” said Jennifer Herring, president of The Maritime Aquarium. “We’re sure she’ll have lots of amazing stories about lemurs and a compelling conservation message.”

The 7:30 p.m. talk will be followed by a screening of “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.” Tickets are $20 ($16 for Aquarium members).

It’s an exciting year for Dr. Wright. Aside from being the featured scientist in a new IMAX movie, she is one of six finalists for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation. (The winner will be announced this summer.)

“Our finalists are among the most important wildlife conservationists working in the field today,” said Michael Crowther, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, which initiated the Indianapolis Prize. “They are achieving real victories in saving animal species, creating hope and making the world a better place.”

Early in her career, Wright made history when she discovered the golden bamboo lemur, a species that was then unknown to science. The find helped to catalyze the formation of Madagascar’s park system. A short time later, Wright learned that timber exploiters were logging the golden bamboo lemur’s rain-forest habitat, so she spent months trekking to define park boundaries with the forestry service and securing funding to develop Ranomafana National Park (RNP). Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, RNP encompasses the home of 12 lemur species, some of which are listed among the world’s most endangered animals.

During the last 20 years, public awareness of Madagascar’s ecosystem has flourished through Dr. Wright’s research and outreach efforts. Her long-term relationship with the local communities in Madagascar has catalyzed economic opportunities around the park. Tourist visits to the park increased from zero to more than 30,000 in 2010, and half the park entrance fees have always been returned to the villages for conservation projects.

Recently, she spearheaded the creation of Centre ValBio, a huge preserve that is a modern hub for multidisciplinary research, training and public awareness, the first in Madagascar.

The IMAX movie “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” reunites writer-producer Drew Fellman, filmmaker David Douglas and narrator Morgan Freeman from the 2011 IMAX movie “Born to Be Wild,” which follows efforts to reintroduce orphaned baby orangutans and elephants into their natural environment. Beginning an unprecedented fourth year at The Maritime Aquarium, “Born to Be Wild” is one of the Norwalk attraction’s most popular IMAX films ever.

Like “Born to Be Wild,” “Island of the Lemurs: Madagascar” is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX Entertainment. It’s rated G.

To reserve tickets for Dr. Patricia Wright’s lecture on April 17 or for the daily screenings of “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” beginning April 4, go to www.maritimeaquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206.

Catch the BIG ONE at the Riverton Fishing Derby on the Farmington River

April 19, the official opening of the fishing season in the Nutmeg State is the day when fly-fishing aficionados from near and far flock to the Annual Riverton Fishing Derby in the Riverton section of Barkhamsted, located in the beautiful Litchfield Hills.

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The day starts before daybreak with a hearty breakfast beginning at 4 a.m. at the Riverton Fire Department on 3 Riverton Rd. in the center of town. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be available at the Riverton General Store located in the center of town in a mid.-19th century building that is the hub of activity for this village. Green mountain coffee, made to order sandwiches, homemade soups, chili, salad and pastries are just some of the things offered here. For more information on Riverton General Store www.rivertongeneralstore.com.

This exciting Litchfield Hills event takes place on April 19th on the West branch of the Farmington River, a Nationally designated “Wild and Scenic” river that is known to host an abundance of rainbow, brown and brook trout. As a matter of fact, on Friday afternoon before this event, over 100 fish are purchased and released into the Farmington River adding even more incentive to catch the “big one.” The contest, complete with prizes, begins at 6 a.m. and lasts for about four hours, ending at 10 a.m. and it’s all-free; and there is no registration or fee required.

The public is always welcome to attend this event and to cheer on their favorite fisherman. Last year some 500 enthusiasts participated in the derby. An even bigger crowd is expected this year. Prizes include items donated by local merchants as well as by Orvis, Cabela’s and Dick’s. The coveted grand prize is a village chair of Riverton donated by the Hitchcock Chair Company. The Hitchcock Chair Company Store is located in Riverton and stocks an excellent selection of this classic hand stenciled furniture. For information about the Hitchcock Chair Company visit www.hitchcockchair.com.

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A bit further upriver a section of the flowing waters especially stocked for the occasion, is set aside for the “Kid’ Derby”. Any tot under 16 who is able to hold a fishing pole, can join in the fun. Special prizes are awarded to kids.

To find out more about the Fishing Derby and other events in Riverton, visit http://rivertonct.com.

The easiest way of getting a fishing license is to visit the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s online sportsmen licensing at https://ct.outdoorcentral.net/InternetSales. Fishing licenses are also available from town clerks and this website has a complete listing of town clerks and businesses that sell fishing licenses. The website also has a weekly fishing report that runs from opening day through the end of November. The report is a summary of fresh and saltwater fishing activity in the state as reported by tackle stores around the state.

For more information on Litchfield Hills, where to stay, dine and what to see and do visit www.litchfieldhills.com.

Ride a Vintage Train to Visit the Easter Bunny in Danbury CT

The Easter Bunny will once again pay a visit to the Danbury Railway Museum and you can take a ride in a vintage train through the historic railyard to visit him. This popular annual family event will take place on Saturday & Sunday, April 12 & 13, and Friday & Saturday, April 18 & 19. Museum hours are 10:00-4:30 on Friday and Saturday; noon-4:30 on Sunday. Trains leave every 30 minutes from 12:30 to 3:30. Admission is $10.00 (age 2 and over); each child will receive a small gift from the Bunny. Reservations are suggested and may be made by visiting the museum’s Web site at http://www.danburyrail.org/.

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The short train ride in a fully-restored 1953 New Haven RR Rail Diesel Car (Budd RDC), will take visitors past the fully operational turntable, over 70 vintage railroad cars and locomotives, and many unique pieces of railroad history, including a Boston & Maine steam locomotive built in 1907. The train ride will stop at the Easter Bunny’s special railroad car. The museum’s beautifully restored circa-1910 Railway Post Office (RPO) car will also be open. Of course, the exhibits inside the restored 1903 Danbury station will be open, along with a coloring station, temporary tattoos, Thomas® play table, and the operating model train layouts. A fully-stocked gift shop will also be open.

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The Danbury Railway Museum is a non-profit organization, staffed solely by volunteers, and is dedicated to the preservation of, and education about, railroad history. The museum is located in the restored 1903 Danbury Station and rail yard at 120 White Street, Danbury, CT. For further information, visit the Web site at http://www.danburyrail.org, email info@danburyrail.org, or call the museum at 203-778-8337.

April Fun at Audubon Greenwich

Spring gets into full swing in April at Audubon Greenwich. There are many family fun events taking place here that will provide fun for the whole family.

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On Saturday, April 12, for example,two exciting walks are planned. The Ponds and Vernal Pools walk will teach you how to search for salamanders, frogs and more and will take place from 2 p.m. – 3:30. All ages are welcome on this walk. RSVP is required so call Ted Gilman at 203-869-5272 x230 to reserve your spot.

There is also a springtime sunset and moonlight walk from 7:45 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Participants will seek out the sights, sounds, and smells of a spring evening visiting field, pond, forest, and lake in search of wildlife. Participants will also listen overhead and look up at the moon in search of silhouettes of night-flying springtime bird migrants. This walk is good for kids Ages 7 and up. Space is limited and an RSVP is required to Ted at 203-869-5272 x230.

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The month of April is ends with two events. The first is a documentary film, called Unacceptable Levels from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday April 26. Learn more about common chemicals, how their effects can be more profound on children than on adults, and how the Conn. General Assembly’s Children’s Committee has proposed legislation, “An Act Concerning Children’s Products and Chemicals of High Concern,” which, if passed, could authorize studies that will guide recommendations to protect children. This event is suitable for adults and interested youth. Location: Cole Auditorium, Greenwich Library (101 W Putnam Ave). Call Jeff Cordulack at 203-869-5272 x239 with questions and RSVPs are appreciated to greenwichcenter@audubon.org.

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On Sunday, April 27, there will be a Nature Art Class with Adriana Rostovsky from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. This class will show participants how to create textures and collages with nature’s treasures found outdoors. These sessions will focus on using natural items like cones, pods and seed heads to create nature-themed decorations. All ages’ welcome. $25 for first two people; $5 per additional participant. RSVP and advance payment required to greenwichcenter@audubon.org or Jeff at 203-869-5272 x239.

The Audubon Greenwich is located on 613 Riversville Rd. For more information greenwichcenter@audubon.org

Arts & Crafts and Hikes at White Memorial Foundation

White Memorial Foundation, located off Rte. 202 in Litchfield Connecticut has several arts and crafts programs that will intrigue and educate young and old alike. On April 5 for examples, there is a llama walk with Deb Elias from Country Quilt Llama Farms. This is your chance to walk a llama and find out how easy it is. Along the walk you will also learn all kinds of llama information. This is appropriate for children and adults. Sign-ups are necessary with a limit of 10 people per walk. 1:00 P.M., Meet in the Museum parking lot. $15.00 per person. Register directly through Deb by calling 860-672-2753 or emailing cqlf6@hotmail.com. A portion of the fee will be donated to White Memorial.

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April 12 begins with a bird language club event with Andy Dobos and Deneen Berier that will help participants identify bird songs and their meanings. Bird language is the study of the songs, calls and body language of birds and other animals giving their running commentary of the world around them. Among other things, they announce the presence of predators and threats. Birders, hunters, photographers and outdoors people can use this understanding to move through the landscape without disturbing the wildlife they came to see as well as predicting the arrival of other animals.

While the club may spend some time observing birds to identify their species, it is not the focus of the club. The goal is to recognize the baseline of a specific area and what any change may indicate. The benefit of returning to the same location allows them to observe the impact of the progressing season. They invite participants in the club to share their knowledge so that all grow in this new and exciting understanding of how we relate to our environment.

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The club’s event will take place outside sitting very still so bring an outdoor chair and warm clothes along with a notebook and binoculars. Meet in front of the A.B. Ceder Room, 7:00 A.M. — 10:00 A.M., Members: $15.00 Non-members: $20.00, Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

Also on April 12, White Memorial is offering a road trip to the Studio of Wood Turner Bodger Richard Heys. Participants will admire the stunning work of Mr. Heys that includes decorative and utilitarian wooden bowls, vases, lidded vessels and sculptural objects made on the lathe and/or by carving. Evolving from a hobby in the early 1990s to a serious pursuit since he retired from a career in chemistry research in 2005, his work aims to reflect both the skills of the craft and an aesthetic response to the character of the wood. Heys obtains most of his wood locally from stormfelled or otherwise unwanted trees. Meet in front of the A.B. Ceder Room at 9:45 A.M. and join the carpool that sets off at 10:00 A.M. — 12:00 P.M. This event is limited to 10 people. Pre-registration is required. FREE…Donations will be accepted to help defray the Conservation Center’s programming expenses.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 12, Reggie Delarm, a Connecticut native, and potter for over 40 years comes to demonstrate her skills White Memorial Foundation. The incomparable Reggie Delarm will be demonstrating wheel thrown bird houses on her 1800s wooden treadle wheel. Her wooden treadle wheel is a replica wheel of local potter Hervey Brooks from Goshen CT. Foot-powered, hand-made wooden wheels were used throughout New England even after the invention of electricity! Reggie will make a variety of birdhouses on her wheel. Round houses, face houses, and carrot houses are her specialty.

After the demonstration, you will learn to make little hand-made fairy garden pinch houses. These cute little clay houses will look great in a terrarium, garden, or around your yard. Clay houses must be fired. Reggie will fire your little pinch house at her studio. You can return to White Memorial to pick them up one week later.
This event will be held in the . B. Ceder Room, and is $30.00 per person which includes all materials and firing. Limited to 10 participants ages 8 and up. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

To finish off April 12, there will be an evening with photographer and musician Gary Melnysyn, a Conservation Center favorite that has been delivering delicious photography programs and workshops to us for several years. Tonight he will share with you some of his favorite wildlife photographs BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE…he will also break out the guitar and sing for you! This man has many hidden talents! Come out for a tasty potluck supper and an evening of music and nature unlike any other! BYOB and a pot luck dish plus your own place setting! 6:00 P.M., A.B. Ceder Room. Members: $20.00 Non-members: $25.00 Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com and for information on White Memorial Foundation www.whitememorialcc.org.

Looking for Daffodils in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County

We are looking for the first signs of Spring in Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County so we decided to watch for daffodils that herald spring with their bright yellow blooms. We expect spring’s blooming bonanza to erupt in color over the next three or four weeks.

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In the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut thousands of daffodils will bloom in the next three to four weeks over ten acres of woodlands and fields at Laurel Ridge Foundation in Northfield and we will be there to check their progress.

A walk among the daffodils at Laurel Ridge Foundation is a rare early spring outing in an unspoiled oasis. The wild natural landscape of gently sloping woodland, fields and aged stonewalls overlooks a small lake dotted with two tiny islands. The park land and one of the islands is completely carpeted with gold and white blossoms, a glorious sight that is nirvana for photographers.

In Fairfield County we are keeping tabs on Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton CT. Most daffodils here are found on the historic property surrounding the Visitor Center. You will also find them in open fields and growing alongside the site’s many stone walls.

Once the home and workplace of J. Alden Weir (1852-1919), Weir Farm is now considered to be the best preserved landscape associated with American Impressionism.

April fun at Beardsley Zoo Connecticut’s Only Zoo!

The Beardsley Zoo located in Bridgeport on 1875 Noble Ave. has a trio of exciting events planned in April.

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On April 8 and 9 at 10:30 a.m. for example, the Zoo is hosting its’ monthly 45 minute program called Zoo Tots. This special program has been created for kids (accompanied by an adult) ages 18 months to three years old and is an excellent family fun learning opportunity. Kids activities may include: stories, games, crafts, and live animals. A special highlight is the “Fur, Feathers, and Scales” session that will explore the differences between mammals, reptiles and birds. The cost is $10 for Zoo members and one child; $15 for non-members and one child. Participants may sign up for either day. To make a reservation, pre-register by calling the Zoo’s Education Department at 203-394-6563.

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Activities at the Zoo are not only for young children. On April 16, the Zoo is hosting an evening lecture at 7 p.m. at the Zoo’s Hanson Exploration Station. The lecture series engages audiences of all ages, especially lifelong learners, who have an appetite for delving deeper into the wonders of wildlife. Attending these programs allows visitors to live vicariously through the Zoo’s experts, who often have had incredible close encounters with creatures across the globe. There is a suggested $5 donation for the lecture. Refreshments will be served.

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To round out the month of April, the Beardsley Zoo is celebrating Earth Day on April 26 and 27 with its annual Party for the Planet event that takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Zoo’s Earth Day event is about encouraging local, organic, earth-friendly choices as a way of promoting better health for everyone including our planet. Environmentally friendly vendors will be on hand with everything from green cleaning products and recycled fashion accessories to better lawn care for you and wildlife! A highlight of this event is the Zoo’s special citizen science corner where visitors can learn about online science projects that you can participate in. This is the perfect event to learn what you can do to make the planet a healthier place for you and your family.

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Connecticut’s only zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won’t want to miss the Amur (Siberian) tigers and leopard, Brazilian ocelot, Mexican wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include: the South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on a colorful carousel. For more information, visit www.beardsleyzoo.org.

21 Annual Chocolate Lovers Expo in Southbury

The 21st Annual Chocolate Lovers’ Spring Expo to benefit Easter Seals will be held on Sunday, April 6 from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Southbury off of I-84 exit 16.

Sweet Maria's Chocolates

Sweet Maria’s Chocolates

With chocolate lovers in mind, this event showcases many of the areas finest chocolate delights and specialty food items from a wide variety of exhibitors and culinary schools.

In addition to chocolate, event goers are sure to enjoy a silent auction, door prizes, special drawings, and demonstrations as well as music by Excite Disc Jockey Entertainment and Bella Winds Woodwind Ensemble as you shop for chocolate goodies, unique gifts, products & services.

Tickets are $25 in advance ($30 at the door). Children’s tickets (ages 5-12) are $5. For tickets or exhibitor information please call 203-754-5141 Faith Hull (ext. 251) or Carolee Kalita, (ext. 243). Proceeds benefit the programs and services of Easter Seals, serving the special needs of infants, children, and adults with disabilities in greater Waterbury, central, and northwestern Connecticut. www.waterburyct.easterseals.com

For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

April Fun at the Institute of American Indian Studies

The Institute of American Indian Studies in Washington Connecticut has a busy April planned that will be fun for the whole family. In the Artist Corner for example, the IAIS is proud to highlight the artistry of Takara Matthews, a member of the Abenaki
Sokoki tribe and a Champion Women’s Fancy Dancer and Jingle Dress Dancer. For sale will be a variety of beaded purses, medallions, earrings. Takara also proudly serves her country as Airman 1st Class in the Vermont Air National Guard.

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On Saturday, April 12 from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., the IAIS is holding a Native Soles, Moccasin Making Workshop. Traditional Native American clothing varied widely from tribe to tribe, but one nearly universal element was the moccasin. The word moccasin comes from the Algonquian word meaning shoe or footwear. These sturdy slipper-shaped type of shoe were sewn from tanned animal hide. Join Darlene Kascak, Schaghticoke, and make your own classic style moccasin for a baby, child or an adult. Registration and prepayment required. Please call for reservations. Fee for Baby Moccasin: $25; $20 IAIS Members. Fee for Child or Adult Moccasin: $45; $40 IAIS Members.

April 26 is a big day at the IAIS as two exciting events are planned. At 1 p.m. in honor of Earth Day, the IAIS will be showing the Emmy -award winning documentary Journey of the Universe: An Epic Story of Cosmic Earth and Human Transformation. Weaving together Weaving together the findings of modern science with cultural traditions of the West, China,Africa, India and Indigenous peoples, this documentary explores the human connection to the cosmos. Fee: Included in regular museum admission: $8 Adults; $6 Seniors;$5 Children; IAIS Members Free.

Also on April 26 at 5 p.m. the Litchfield Hills Archaeology Club presents A Taste of Native America. This dinner will feature traditional foods and includes roast venison, rabbit with wild rice, steamed mussels, garlic mashed potatoes, acorn squash, pumpkin soup and Indian pudding. Non-alcoholic beverages included (BYOB if desired). Good food, music and conversation regarding the Club’s recent and upcoming archeological excavations will abound. Limited seating. Prepayment and registration required. Please call for reservations. The fee is $50 per person.

On April 27 from 12:30 – 3:30 the Institute is hosting Nature’s Bounty: Foraging for a Healthy Lifestyle that will teach participants to identify common edible plants in Connecticut.

For more information visit http://www.iaismuseum.org. For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com

Spring into spring at Bent of the River Audubon

Bent of the River Audubon located on 185 East Flat Hill Road in Southbury is celebrating the return of spring migratory birds this April with several programs that are sure to help you enjoy this annual migration.

Bluebirds

Bluebirds

On April 4 for example at 6:30 p.m., Bent of the River is hosting a program called “Timberdoodling”! Participants will meet in the Bent of the River Parking Lot (members free, non-members $5) to observe one of North America’s most intriguing mating displays as the male American Woodcock struts, peents, flies, and whistles his way into the females favor. Past walks have proven very successful in witnessing this impressive display. In addition, we are also likely to see the courtship flight of Mourning Doves, and hear the classic “who cooks for you, who cooks for you all” call from our resident Barred Owls, all with a background symphony of Spring peepers. This is a very popular program and registration is limited so register soon. Rain cancels this event. Registration is required. Please email Jim Drennan at jdrennan@audubon.org or call (203)264-5098 ext. 303.

On Tuesday, April 8 at 7 p.m. the Land Management Staff of Bent of the River will present information on how Audubon manages sanctuaries for birds and other wildlife at the Kingsley Room in the Southbury Public Library on 100 Poverty Rd. in Southbury. This free event will include information on how to improve landscapes at home to provide better habitats for birds and other wildlife. The focus of this evening will be on shrub and grassland habitat species including butterflies, dragon flies and the plants they need to survive and thrive. This presentation is perfect for gardeners interested in improving their gardens and landscape while spending less maintenance time! The meeting is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Please email Jim Drennan at jdrennan@audubon.org or call (203)264-5098 ext. 303.

Jewels of the Blue — Eastern Bluebird management will be the topic of discussion on Thursday, April 17 at 7 pm at the historic barn at Bent of the River Audubon Center. The cost for this program is $3 for members and $5 for non-members. It has been estimated that the Eastern Bluebird population has decreased 90% since the mid 1800’s due to the introduction of the starling and house sparrow from Europe. These species are more aggressive than the bluebird and will kill both adults and eggs to take over the nesting location. However, since the late 1960’s, populations have been recovering due in large part to the popularity of constructing bluebird nest boxes designed to keep starlings out and educating the public about how to deal with house sparrows. Bent of the River land manager, Jim Drennan, will lead a discussion on how best to attract, care for, and manage your bluebirds, and relate the challenges Audubon faces caring for their 25 Bluebird nest boxes. If time permits, there will be a walk into the meadow to observe bluebird habitat.
Registration is required. Please email Jim Drennan at jdrennan@audubon.org or call (203)264-5098 ext. 303.

For more information about Bent of the River visit http://bentoftheriver.audubon.org. For information on the Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com.

Spring Programs for Gardeners at Greenwich Garden Education Center

The Garden Education Center of Greenwich located on 130 Bible Street in Cos Cob is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to promoting horticulture, conservation and the arts through educational programs, outreach activities and special events. In March and April, the Center is offering a series of programs perfect for the home gardener.

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On March 27, for example, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. the Center and the Greenwich Land Trust have partnered to bring Charles Day, a former commercial fruit-grower to explain this ancient craft and demonstrate the techniques involved. In this 3-hour session he will teach participants about the collection and storage of scion wood, rootstocks and their function, different types of grafts and the reasons for using them and the art of tying and waxing. Participants will have the opportunity to hone their grafting skills on real trees in one of the Greenwich Land Trust’s beautiful orchard preserves. Registration is required and the material fee is $5; registration for members is $35 and $45 for non-members. It is suggested that you dress for the outdoors and bring your lunch; the Center will provide drinks and dessert.

On April 2, from 10 a.m. – noon, there will be another grafting class this time on tomatoes with local horticulturist Alan Gorkin. Grafting plants is another form of propagating herbaceous, fast growing plants such as annual vegetables. Gorkin will discuss the relatively “new “ process of grafting tomatoes, and why we do it and participants will practice the technique in class and take materials home to grow in their own garden. The materials fee for this class is $7.50 and registration for members is $25 and $35 for non-members.

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If you want to learn how to simplify gardening to fit your lifestyle, don’t miss the program by Kerry Mendez on April 24 at 10 a.m. This inspiring lecture provides easy-to-follow downsizing strategies, recommended no-fuss plant material, and design tips for stunning year-round gardens that will be as close to autopilot as you can get. Registration for this lecture is required and registration for members is $35 and $45 for non-members.
Also on April 24 is a “Girls Night Out” with cash and carry flowers from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. This informative workshop has many tips on how to choose and arrange store-bought flowers with expert floral designer, Miriam Landsman. Reservations for this evening are required and the cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members. A light dinner and dessert will be provided, bring your own beverage.

To register for these programs visit www.gecgreenwich.org. For information on Fairfield County visit www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com

CONNfection- Connecticut Food and Wine Showcase

The Waterbury Neighborhood Council will host the second annual CONNfection event, a showcase featuring Connecticut made food and wine, on Thursday, March 27, from 6p.m. – 9p.m. at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased by phone at 203-346-2000, online at www.palacetheaterct.org, or in person at the Box Office, 100 East Main Street in Waterbury.

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CONNfection attendees will have the delight of sampling some of the best home grown and homemade products that Connecticut has to offer, including pasta, sausages, artisanal breads, gourmet olive oils, specialty condiments and relishes, biscotti, cookies, chocolates, cupcakes and more.

Guests will also have the opportunity to sample a variety of beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards, as well as Onyx Moonshine, the first legal moonshine to be brewed in New England. The list of vendors scheduled to appear include 1249 Restaurant, The Bites Company, Fascia’s Chocolate, The Grotto Restaurant & Mrs. G, recent “Cupcake Wars” winner Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes, La Molisana Sausage, The Olive Oil Factory, Pasta Gallery, The Provender of New Morning Market, Saha Sauces LLC, Sweet Confections by Regina LLC, Sweet Maria’s, and more to be announced.

CONNfection is sponsored in part by The Good Life Wine and Spirits, as well as the City of Waterbury’s Arts and Tourism Commission. Proceeds from the event will be used by the Waterbury Neighborhood Council for their work on behalf of all Waterbury neighborhoods, including downtown where the Palace Theater is prominently located.

For information on Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com

Journey to a Magical Cloud Forest- A Quiet Place at the Oliver Wolcott Library and White Flower Farm

The Oliver Wolcott Library on 160 South Street in Litchfield is hosting the photographs of Sue Kennedy through April 25 in the Gallery of this lovely library.

Twenty years ago Sue Kennedy was in Texas working on a Kinesiology and Adapted Physical Education PhD. If anyone had told her that photographing and raising orchids was what she would be doing today, she wouldn’t have believed them. She is here to share her journey, and hopes you will smile, find joy, and most of all, peace from these images of her quiet and powerful children of the Magical Cloud Forest.

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Sue’s father was a pediatrician in the Torrington/Litchfield area, but he always had a second great passion…orchids. Before medical school he earned a PhD in Botany from Cornell and dreamed of discovering and naming a new orchid. After retiring from medicine and armed with a U.S. Department of Agriculture permit, he and his wife took many collecting excursions including the Amazon, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Plants were brought home, potted or mounted, and treasured in his “quiet place,” the greenhouse he had built.

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When her father passed away and her mother became ill, Sue was forced with a dilemma – let the orchids die, sell them off or give it a go. She dove in and never looked back. With each blossom she began to see and photograph the unique character of each plant. She shared her images with friends and would see their eyes light up with a kind of childish wonder, peace and joy. Sue continues to capture how light is reflected and penetrates; how it enlightens; how each bloom is a fascination.

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After visiting the Library, stop by White Flower Farm to look at the fabulous selection of plants to be found there. White Flower Farm is located on Rte. 63, 167 Litchfield Rd. a few miles south of the center of Litchfield. Visitors to White Flower Farm will find a wide array of plants for sale. The shop at White Flower Farm opens in April. Visitors may also explore several beautiful display gardens that are adjacent to the shop. For more information about White Flower Farm visit www.whiteflowerfarm.com.

For more information on programs at the Oliver Wolcott Library call 860-567-8030 or www.owlibrary.org For information on Litchfield Hills www.litchfieldhills.com