The art of flintknapping this weekend

Have you ever wondered how Native Americans survived in the wilderness without any modern tools? If you have, then make sure to attend the flintknapping workshop at the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington with Jeff Kalin, a primitive technologist on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29 from 12 noon to 3 p.m.

About Flintknapping
Flintknapping is the age-old traditional way that Native Americans created sharp-edged tools and weapons from stone. The use of implements made from flint was widely practiced in New England because their survival depended on a material, like flint that could be used to produce sharp tools.

The first step in the flint knapping process is to quarry large pieces of chert or flint. The use of flint to make weapons and tools has been used by humans for at least two million years. The composition of flint when fractured causes it to break into sharp-edged pieces. Native Americans recognized this property of flint and learned how to fashion it into knife blades, spear points, arrowheads, scrapers, axes, drills and other sharp implements using a method known as flintknapping. If these tools were broken or damaged while being used they were sometimes reshaped into smaller tools that could be used in a similar way.

After finding a piece of flint it is hit with a hammerstone to break off a flake to make a tool or weapon. This tool is then roughed out and the general shape is made, this shape is referred to as a preform. The next step entails a striking tool made of an antler, bone or stone that is used to shape the stone into a weapon or tool. This is followed by pressure flaking by pressing an antler or stone end to the edges to sharpen the piece. The implement can be sharpened even more by striking the edge in a downward motion, the thinner the flint, the sharper the tool or weapon.

Flintknapping Workshop with Jeff Kalin, Cherokee

At this workshop, on April 28 and April 29 participants will discover the fascinating history of Native American flintknapping from primitive technologist expert, Jeff Kalin, of Cherokee ancestry. During the workshop, Kalin will explain the historic importance of flintknapping and how it was critical to the well being of the tribe as the implements produced touched every aspect of daily life by providing implements to use in hunting, fishing, making clothes, canoes, and structures.

Participants will learn percussion and flaking techniques from Kalin that will turn an ordinary piece of flint into a useful tool. This workshop is best for adults and children 15 and older. Call the Institute at 860-868-0518 or email media@iaismuseum.org to reserve your spot because this popular workshop is expected to sell out.

About Jeff Kalin

Jeff Kalin has more than 25 years of experience in the field of primitive technologies and is a consultant to museum curators and archaeologists in the analysis of artifacts. He is a recognized expert in Clovis point replication and other types of stone tools.

He has constructed prehistoric sets and props for filmmakers and his pottery, handcrafted from river clay is in many public and private collections. Kalin has built nearly 200 aboriginal structures, either free-standing or congregated in villages.

The Institute for American Indian Studies

Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS has an outdoor Three Sisters and Healing Plants Gardens as well as a replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village. Inside the museum, authentic artifacts are displayed in permanent, semi-permanent and temporary exhibits from prehistory to the present that allows visitors a walk through time. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut and can be reached online or by calling 860-868-0518.

The Institute for American Indian Studies preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures. Through archaeology, the IAIS is able to build new understandings of the world and history of Native Americans, the focus is on stewardship and preservation. This is achieved through workshops, special events, and education for students of all ages.

New IMAX Movie @ Maritime Aquarium Norwalk

Celebrate the wonders of nature that we can find right outside our own homes – if we would just put down our devices – in “Backyard Wilderness,” a gorgeous new IMAX®  at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

In The Maritime Aquarium’s 30-year history, “Backyard Wilderness” may be the IMAX movie that is most relevant to Aquarium audiences – and not only because the movie was filmed just over the state line in Westchester County, N.Y. The movie shows how we are so absorbed in the digital realm that we overlook a menagerie of real wildlife right outside our back door, including deer, coyotes, wood ducks, frogs, salamanders, raccoons, hummingbirds and more.

From March 25 to June 29, show times are 11 a.m. and 1 & 3 p.m. Times will change June 30.

It will play in the largest IMAX Theater in Connecticut, with a screen that’s six stories high and eight stories wide. But there’s more to the movie than just the IMAX format’s enormous scale, image clarity and surround sound. “Backyard Wilderness” captures the beauty of a suburban wilderness in rare intimacy – with IMAX cameras mounted inside dens and nests, moving along forest floor and pond bottom, and (through time-lapse and slow-motion) revealing marvels of nature unavailable to the human eye.

The story of “Backyard Wilderness” follows a young girl and her modern family, who are blind to the real-life spectacle around them; who instead are absorbed by an array of electronic devices in their busy lives. When the girl gradually discovers the intricate secrets that nature has hidden so close to her front door, audiences experience the joy she finds in her interactions with this new world.

The film reminds us that Wi-Fi is not the only connection that matters and that, sometimes, in ordinary places, you can uncover extraordinary things that can transform you forever – you just need to step outside.

Educators can find classroom resources and learn how the movie can help to fulfill U.S. Next Generation Science Standards at http://www.backyardwildernessfilm.com.

“Backyard Wilderness” is an SK Films release of an Arise Media/Archipelago Films production. Based in Ossining, N.Y., Archipelago Films was created by Academy Award-nominated, Emmy-Award-winning filmmakers Susan Todd and Andrew Young. Their non-profit company, Arise Media, was formed to make innovative media about the most urgent social and environmental challenges facing the planet, and to inspire a new appreciation for our own interconnected role in nature.

Get more information about “Backyard Wilderness,” watch the trailer, buy tickets and more at www.maritimeaquarium.org.

“Because the movie was filmed in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., its geography and animal life will be familiar to anyone in Connecticut and eastern New York who has ever walked in a forest park – or their own wooded back yard,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth. “But the movie lets us see into these animals’ lives in intimate ways – which is a neat trick: creating an intimate feeling on a six-story screen.”

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.

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 parkland 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.

Jewels of the Jungle @ Bruce Museum

The 31st Bruce Museum Gala will be “Jewels of the Jungle” on May 12 at Greenwich Country Club. Formerly known as the Renaissance Ball, this annual benefit raises critical funds that not only support the Bruce’s ongoing art and science exhibitions and educational programs, but also will refresh its science offerings, strengthen its potential in the arts, and expand its educational reach.

Organized by a team of committee members and museum staff, the event is led by Gala Co-Chairs Katie Fong Biglin, Kim Kassin, and Shelly Tretter Lynch. The honorary Gala Chair is Avril Graham, Executive Fashion & Beauty Editor at Harper’s Bazaar.

The 31st Bruce Museum Gala is a creative black-tie event that celebrates the contributions made by all the philanthropists, arts leaders, elected officials, and Museum supporters expected to attend. The Gala also provides a time to toast the evening’s honorees, Lucile and Richard J. Glasebrook and Gale and Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., who will be recognized for their longstanding commitment, leadership, and generosity to the Bruce Museum.

The eye-catching décor conceived by Renny & Reed and Sebass Events & Entertainment will pay tribute to the Bruce Museum’s recent exhibition Treasures of the Earth: Mineral Masterpieces from the Robert R. Wiener Collection and the upcoming exhibition National Geographic Photo Ark: Photographs by Joel Sartore, opening on June 2.

The 31st Bruce Museum Gala is open to the public, but reservations are required. To purchase tickets online, visit brucemuseum.org and click “Reservations.” For more information or to receive an invitation to the Gala, contact Brooke Benedetto; bbenedetto@brucemuseum.org or 203-413-6761.

HOLLISTER HOUSE GARDEN ANNOUNCES NEW ‘BARN TALKS’ SERIES

Following a successful first year of programming in the newly renovated 18th Century Barn, Hollister House Garden located in Washington Connecticut announces a new series of educational workshops and lectures called ‘Barn Talks’.

The goal of ‘Barn Talks’ is to engage, educate and bring together both amateur and professional gardeners. The roster of presenters includes horticultural industry professionals with decades of experience, who will share their passion and knowledge.

The Saturday series begins with ‘New England Orchard Revival: Resurrecting the Heirloom Apple’ presented by Peter J. Jentsch of Cornell University. Additional ‘Barn Talks’ include ‘The Living Lawn: Simple Steps to Organic Lawn Care’ with Chip Osborne of Osborne Organics, ‘Creating a Landscape for your Table’ and ‘Decorative Kitchen Containers’ with designer Chris Zaima, ‘and How to Create a Small, Productive Cutting Garden’ led by Elisabeth Cary of Cooper Hill Flower Farm. The annual Hollister House Garden Spring Plant Sale is planned for May 12 and features Broken Arrow Nursery, Falls Village Flower Farm, McCue Gardens and Something to Crow About Dahlias.

Recently the board of directors approved adding the position of Program Coordinator to plan and implement a series of lectures and workshops thus reaffirming a commitment to making Hollister House Garden an important resource for the gardening community. The Board welcomes Deborah Brown of Roxbury, a longtime friend and volunteer, to this newly created position. Ms. Brown has worked in the horticultural field for over 30 years as a landscape contractor and as a garden/floral designer.

“Our goal is to make Hollister House Garden a center of learning and inspiration for all gardeners. We hope to present programs that offer both practical knowledge and insight as well as those that affirm the joy of gardening” says Deborah Brown.

The official 2018 opening day of Hollister House Garden is Friday, April 27th. In addition to ‘Barn Talks’, the garden will continue to offer a full program of cultural and educational events like ‘Music in the Garden’, ‘Twilight in the Garden’, ‘Photography in the Garden’, and more. A complete listing of dates, times and registration links for ‘Barn Talks’ and all other upcoming events can be found at www.hollisterhousegarden.com/events.

Hollister House Garden is a non-profit corporation and one of only 16 exceptional gardens designated a Preservation Project by the Garden Conservancy, whose mission is to identify and preserve important private gardens across America for the education and enjoyment of the public. In 2010 Hollister House achieved its prestigious listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The property has also been named a Town Landmark Site by the Town of Washington.

Hollister House Garden is open to visitors April 27th through October 6th. Friday hours are 1-4PM and Saturdays 10-4PM. Private group visits are welcome weekdays by appointment only. Directions to the garden’s 300 Nettleton Hollow Road location are also available on the website. Contact: Pamela Moffett, 860-868-2200 office@hollisterhousegarden.org.

Celebrate Connecticut’s Maritime History Lightkeeper’s Gala in Norwalk

The Norwalk Seaport Association is celebrating a very important milestone, the 150th anniversary of the Sheffield Island Lighthouse.  The public is invited to join in the celebration at this year’s annual Lightkeeper’s Gala on April 28, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the elegant Norwalk Inn & Conference Center. Proceeds from the Gala event will be used to continue to educate and preserve Sheffield Island, Sheffield Island.

Sheffield Island Lighthouse, “The Gateway to Your Harbor” stands proud as members of the Association celebrate its 150 Anniversary in 2018. The Lighthouse is a tribute from those who built this magnificent structure to those that served as guardians and keepers. This Gala event also honors the volunteers, trustees, and the incredible support from the community that gave us the Lighthouse and those that helped to restore it to its pristine condition.  

This year, the Gala’s theme is “Gateway to your Harbor” and attendees can expect a treasure trove of fun while celebrating Sheffield Island Lighthouse, the jewel of the Connecticut coastline.  There will be cocktails, a sumptuous dinner, and dancing.

A highlight of the evening will be both a silent and live auction with more than 100 items that are sure to delight especially when it is to support our Maritime Heritage.  The Grand Auction is live… so get ready to have some “sound” fun!  The prize is a four-day, three-night vacation package for two lucky winners to another island… Barbados!  Winners will be pampered at the luxurious, adult only Treasure Beach, one of the newest properties on Barbados with an award-winning restaurant.

The Lightkeeper’s Gala event celebrates the achievements of the Norwalk Seaport Association and, the generous contributions made by all the philanthropists, businesses, elected officials, supporters and members of the Norwalk Seaport Association. The Gala also provides a time to toast the evening’s honorees, King Industries and The King Family, Carol F. Pote, G & C Marine Services and Gary Wetmore who will be recognized for their longstanding commitment, leadership, and generosity to the Norwalk Seaport Association.

The Sheffield Island Lighthouse belongs to everyone who has touched it in the past and to those that will keep it as it is for the next 150 years.  

The Lightkeeper’s Gala is open to the public, but reservations are required. To purchase tickets online or call (203) 838 – 9444.

About The Norwalk Seaport Association

Formally incorporated in July 1978 the Norwalk Seaport Association works to foster public awareness of Norwalk and Long Island Sound’s maritime resources, environment and heritage through research, education, and preservation. The most important mission of the Association is to foster the preservation and rehabilitation of the historic areas of Norwalk Harbor and Long Island Sound.

Norwalk Seaport Association Cruises

The Norwalk Seaport Association offers three-hour boat cruises to Sheffield Island from May – September where visitors can enjoy walks on the beach, a stroll along a nature trail at the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge and views of Long Island Sound and NYC on a clear day. 

Norwalk Seaport Association – Events

The Norwalk Seaport Association also hosts a series of themed boat cruises and events including the award-winning Annual Norwalk Oyster Festival, September 7-9, 2018.

The Spirit of Spring @ Institute for American Indian Studies

If you have kids home from school on their spring vacation and want to plan a special excursion that will both educate and fascinate, head to the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut. The Institute has planned a perfect combination of programs from April 18 to April 20 that will fascinate and educate your children. Best of all the schedule is relaxed so whatever time you visit the museum, you are sure to find excellent programs to participate in.

The highlight of the day on April 18 will be a series of family activities that will focus on woodland animals found on the grounds…deer, squirrels, chipmunks, coyotes and even bears. Kids will learn how to ID animals by the tracks they leave behind. There will also be an outdoor scavenger hunt along our trails leading up to the Native American Village that promises to be entertaining and educational at the same time. If your children enjoy making things, there will be a craft session where kids will make the animal of their choice and be able to take it home as a memento of their visit. The day will wind down with animal stories, like how the chipmunk got his stripes by Traditional Storyteller and the Education Coordinator of the Institute, Darlene Kascak, Schaghticoke.

On April 19, the focus of the day will be honoring the trees and the gifts that they bring us. If you want your children to learn how to identify different trees, this is the day to visit the museum. There will be a self-guided nature walk on the well-marked trails of the museum and a tree identification activity. In addition, a craft session for kids is planned that will highlight trees and a special story time when Native American legends are told. Perhaps one tale will be the Cherokee Legend of why trees lose their leaves.

Native Americans have lived off the land and have used herbs and plants as a source of food, building material and, for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Programs on April 20 will focus on how Native Americans use plants and herbs. A highlight of the day will be the Iroquois story told by a Traditional Storyteller and the Education Coordinator of the Institute, Darlene Kascak, Schaghticoke of the “Three Sisters” Garden of corn, beans, and squash. There will also be a Three Sisters’ Garden planting activity to make and take them home. Children will delight in exploring their crafty side using natural materials found on a hike.

These events will take place from 12 noon to 4 p.m. on April 18-20 and all activities are included in the price of admission with one parent or guardian per group getting free admission! Admission is $10 adults, $8 Seniors, and $6 children, members of the Institute of American Indian Studies get in free.

And, remember, IAIS is participating in Give Local 2018 Facebook Contest! LIKE this photo to help us win additional prizes! Please only like the original post as that is the one where the likes are counted! Supporting IAIS During “Give Local” supports our educational efforts. All you have to do is LIKE the photo to help us during this contest and to give where your heart is in order to help us continue to educate and create more memories like this one!! Connecticut Community Foundation.

The Institute for American Indian Studies
Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS has an outdoor Three Sisters and Healing Plants Gardens as well as a replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village. Inside the museum, authentic artifacts are displayed in permanent, semi-permanent and temporary exhibits from prehistory to the present that allows visitors a walk through time. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut and can be reached online or by calling 860-868-0518.

The Institute for American Indian Studies preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures. Through archaeology, the IAIS is able to build new understandings of the world and history of Native Americans, the focus is on stewardship and preservation. This is achieved through workshops, special events, and education for students of all ages.

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