photos: april 2011

Below are pictures from our events.

Spring Awakening At Sweetbriar Nature Center: Part Two
Sweet Briar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown, NY
Saturday, April 30th

It was another lovely sunny spring day at Sweetbriar Nature Center! We headed back to the gardens to tackle some more weeds, clear some paths, and conquer the army of dandelions. During lunch, we got to meet one of Sweetbriar's resident falcons, and after our day's work, we took a walk to the animal barn to hang out with the goats, bunnies, and birds of prey— all in separate cages, of course! All in all, another wonderful day full of fresh air, good company, and helping our nature center neighbors!


MOUSE OVER BOXES FOR LARGER VIEW.

SPRING BREAK 2011- Arcadia: Fencing Day
Avalon Park And Preserve Barn, Stony Brook, NY
Friday, April 22nd

We tackled not one but TWO types of fences today! First, we learned how to put up a sturdy, straight split-rail fence, and built four sections to block off an area of Avalon trails to give our soon-to-be baby quails more privacy. Next, we took the bamboo from the previous day's program, attached it to the split-rail fence around Arcadia, and strung fishing line around the perimeter in hopes of spooking and deterring any hungry deer. The volunteers did a stand-up job!


MOUSE OVER BOXES FOR LARGER VIEW.

SPRING BREAK 2011- Bamboo Harvest
Three Village Garden Club Arboretum, East Setauket, NY
Thursday, April 21st

This afternoon, we trekked into the wild and wonderful bamboo forest of Setauket at the Three Village Garden Club Arboretum with a mission: harvest some dead bamboo. While helping to clear and beautify the trails and areas within the walls of bamboo, we collected the tall, strong stalks-- watching to be sure that no one lost an eye-- and dragged them into the field for cleaning. Once all the small branches were removed, we cut 12-foot sections and stacked them in the truck, ready to be brought back to Avalon for the following program. We also collected thinner stalks to bring back to Avalon to create trellises for Arcadia!


MOUSE OVER BOXES FOR LARGER VIEW.

Nesting In The Barn
Historic Old Field Farm, Old Field, NY
Sunday, April 17th

We had a really awesome Sunday by the sea at Historic Old Field Farm! First, Luci from Four Harbors Audubon Society taught us all about the birds that we were going to create nesting boxes for that afternoon. We reinforced our knowledge of how different these avian species can be when we began assembling the different boxes: barn owl, blue bird, barn swallow, osprey, and though they're not birds, bat boxes, too! All afternoon, we read directions, hammered, painted, caulked, and worked together to make these piles of wood into beautiful bird boxes. Thank goodness for a more-than-delicious lunch of soup and sandwiches from our host, Sally, which gave us the pep we needed to finish our day's work. Totaling ten boxes for the afternoon, we concluded by mixing up cement, mounting one of our bluebird boxes to a 20-foot pole, raising it up, and securing it in the ground. We can't wait to go back in the coming seasons and watch for activity in the 10 new homes we built for the winged critters at Old Field Farm!


MOUSE OVER BOXES FOR LARGER VIEW.

Arbor Day Trail Prep
Three Village Garden Club Arboretum, East Setauket, NY
Saturday, April 16th

Whatta lotta wood chips! While turnout was low to this program,
perhaps because wood chip relocation seems daunting, the valiant
volunteers and one parent who showed up sure had a great time! We took turns using the tractor to haul the chips to and fro, working on our driving skills, and, in between, working on our muscles with those forks, rakes, and barrows. We accomplished a truly phenomenal amount of work in one afternoon! The Garden Club couldn't stop thanking us, and so I pass that onto my resilient volunteers: thank you, thank you, thank you! Everyone at the park is already enjoying the beautiful path we made, and you know those second graders will be grateful when they're not losing shoes in the mud!


MOUSE OVER BOXES FOR LARGER VIEW.

Spring Awakening At Sweetbriar Nature Center: Part One
Sweet Briar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown, NY
Saturday, April 9th

On one of the first lovely, warm spring days of the year, we met up at Sweetbriar Nature Center to rake, pull, and clip last year's growth away to make room for the greens that are just beginning to set up camp for 2011. It's incredible what a difference we made in the hours that we were there! And what a beautiful place to spend a sunny afternoon!


MOUSE OVER BOXES FOR LARGER VIEW.

Arcadia: Greenhouse Assembly +
Seedling Box Soil Prep + Seed Planting

Avalon Park And Preserve Barn, Stony Brook, NY
Saturday, April 2nd

What a productive day! Right off, our volunteers worked together to construct their greenhouse, knocking out the task in just 20 minutes! After an out-of-the-movies scene where the greenhouse took off, blowing and rolling away with ten volunteers sprinting behind it, we secured its base and began creating wire seed spacers. Next, we filled our seedling boxes with seed starter soil, soaked it, and let it settle while staking out raised bed placement in the new garden space. Finally, we mustered up every last bit of concentration to distrubute seeds into the boxed soil, already building anticipation for heirloom tomatoes, varieties of basil, hot peppers, and so much more!


MOUSE OVER BOXES FOR LARGER VIEW.