Winter Happenings at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve

Credit: https://www.facebook.com/BowmansHillWildflowerPreserve

Despite the cold, the Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve -a nature preserve, botanical garden, and accredited museum – will host a variety of events throughout the winter months. Over 700 of Pennsylvania’s 2,000 native plant species grow naturally on Bowman Wildflower Preserve’s 134 acres.  Here’s what’s happening:
The Humane Gardener: Cultivating Compassion for All Creatures
Sunday, January 72 -3 pm
Members: $8; Non-members $12

Why do we call some insects “beneficial” while others are “pests”? Why are some plants considered “desirable” while others are “weeds”? In this myth-busting talk, join speaker Nancy Lawson to learn how common growing methods divide the natural world into false dichotomies and perpetuate misconceptions about the wild species living among us. Discover practical ways to put humane gardening philosophies into action by protecting wild nurseries of animals large and small, eliminating unintended hazards to wildlife, nurturing plants that provide food and shelter, and humanely resolving conflicts with mammals and other commonly misunderstood creatures. Book signing to follow.
Holiday Card Makeover Workshop
Saturday, January 132 – 3 pm
Members: $8; Non-members: $10. All materials included.

Space is limited. Registration required by Thursday, January 11.
With just a little cutting and folding, holiday cards and calendars can be made into beautiful little boxes. Bring your large folded cards (6 inches minimum, measured from the shortest side), old calendars and a long ruler, if you have one. Learn how to transform these materials into cute little boxes, ready for re-gifting.  Scrapbook paper also makes a nice box; if you have that, bring it along!  Once you know how to make this craft, you’ll be hooked on making one-of-a-kind gift boxes from now on.
Qigong: Awaken the Healer Within Series
Wednesdays (6): January 10 through February 1410 – 11 am
Series Fee: Members: $60, Non-members: $72.
Participants must register for the entire series to attend.
Qigong (“chee gong”) is an ancient self-care practice that is a component of traditional Chinese medicine. This course will focus on physical postures and movements, slow deep breathing and focused meditation as a way to circulate chi – or universal energy – for health and wellness. Qigong helps lower blood pressure, enhance the immune and lymphatic systems, improve balance and stability and loosen stiff joints. No experience is necessary; all that is required is an open mind and a willing spirit. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
Sandy Unger, MA, is a Qigong and Tai Chi Easy instructor certified through the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC) and is a member of the National Qigong Association. Sandy has received mindfulness training through University of Pennsylvania’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program.
The Life and Times of Mary Vaux Walcott
Sunday, January 142 -3 pm
Members: $8; Non-members: $12

Join speaker Marjorie G. Jones for this inspiring talk. Spanning two centuries, The Life and Times of Mary Vaux Walcott tells the story of a remarkable lady whose life as an avid explorer, glaciologist, early photographer, Indian commissioner and renowned illustrator of North American wildflowers illuminates the worldview of intrepid women at the turn of the 19th century. Book signing to follow.
Feeding Wild Birds 101 Workshop
Saturday, January 2010 – 11:30 am
Members: $5; Non-members: $7
Do you enjoy watching the activity at your bird feeder?  Do you look forward to sitting and watching your feathered friends, even for a few minutes? Bird watching can be a stress reliever; learn the tricks for getting wild birds to flock to your feeders.
Join us and Michael O’Shea of Wild Birds Unlimited for our Feeding Wild Birds 101 Workshop, designed to help you delve more deeply into the lives of the beautiful birds of the Delaware Valley. Learn how to identify both common and uncommon backyard birds; discover the secrets of preferred food choices and feeder types, as well as ways to attract more birds to your yard.
Knowing Native Plants: Plant Identification       
Saturday, January 201 – 3 pm 
Members: $15; Non-members, $20
This indoor class will introduce you to the basics of identifying conifers and flowering herbaceous and woody plants using dichotomous keys. Ed Lignowski, Ph.D., former botany/plant physiology college instructor, will teach you the vegetative and reproductive morphological features and terminology needed to use a typical plant identification key. Emphasis will be placed on leaf and floral characteristics. This program will not include an outdoor tour. Professional CEUs available.
Fabulous Ferns of Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Sunday, January 212 – 3pm
Members: $8; Non-members $12

Ferns have inhabited our region for millions of years – long before the dinosaurs roamed the landscape. Today, most species are found in the tropics, but Pennsylvania and New Jersey are home to a rich diversity of native ferns. This comprehensive program with naturalist Pete Bacinski covers up-to-date information on new names and taxonomic splits of more than 50 species of native ferns. We’re sure you’ll find it “ferntastic.”
Make & Take Terrarium Garden
Saturday, January 2710 – 11:30 am
Members: $20; Non-members: $25 All materials included.
Enjoy some green in the dead of winter with a unique terrarium workshop in our Propagation house. Participants will utilize native plants that overwinter in our Nursery to create their very own terrarium.
Nature in Winter Walk
Saturday, January 271:30 – 3 pm
Members: $5; Non-members: $7 
Advance registration required by Thursday, January 25.      
Explore the Preserve in its winter brilliance with Education Coordinator Kelly Joslin. Enjoy the quiet beauty of our habitats while learning how plants provide winter food and shelter for birds and small mammals. We will investigate skeletal stems, diverse seed heads, buds that promise next spring’s leaves and flowers and look for signs of wildlife on this very special walk.  Please dress for cold weather.
John James Audubon: Separating the Man from the Myth
Sunday, January 282 -3 pm
Members: $8; Non-members: $12

The legendary ornithologist John James Audubon (1785-1851) began his studies of American birds as a teenager, on the banks of the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia. Few figures in American history have weathered as intense a scrutiny of their written work as Audubon. Nearly every scrap of his writing has been transcribed and debated in numerous biographies and articles spanning more than a century, each revisiting the same primary sources in search of a new angle, because no new material has surfaced in decades. Our speaker, Matthew Halley, recently discovered and transcribed several novel primary sources that provide a surprisingly fresh and intimate window into Audubon’s character and story, and fill critical gaps in our understanding of the genesis of his masterpiece, The Birds of America.
Winter Nature Play Day
Saturday, February 31 – 4 pm
Members: FREE; Non-members: $3 per person (includes Preserve admission)

Come for an afternoon of play in nature! Our Visitor Center will be filled with fun and thematic self-guided activities, art projects and opportunities for a guided hike. This is a drop-in family program; no registration is required.
Collections Walk: Penns Woods
Saturday, February 31:30 – 3 pm
Members: $8; Non-members $10

The Preserve is home to more than 700 species of native plants. Join us for an informative walk as we take a look at rare, unusual, and/or unique favorites of our Curator, Collection Committee and Naturalists. This walk will feature the collection found within Penn’s Woods. Please dress for the weather.
How to Avoid Raising Another Bird’s Chicks
Sunday, February 42 -3 pm
Members: $8; Non-members: $12

Dr. Underwood’s lecture will explore brood parasitism, which is an unusual reproductive strategy in birds where females lay their eggs in other birds’ nests and leave all parental care to these foster parents or hosts. Because raising parasitic young is costly to host birds, this favors the evolution of behavioral defenses against parasitism. Dr. Underwood will focus on his experimental research on how and why some host birds can recognize and eject a parasite’s eggs.
Nature Buddies: Animal Tracks
Saturday, February 1010 – 11:15 am
Members: FREE; Non-members + 1 child: $7; Additional Child: $3

Tiptoe through the tundra – or at least over the frozen ground just outside – as we search for animal tracks and signs of hidden life, read a tracking story and make a craft. Nature Buddies programs include a story, an outdoor walk and a take-home craft. This program is appropriate for ages 3 through 7. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Walks are weather dependent; please dress for the weather. Registration required by Wednesday February 8, 2018.
Make-and-Take: From Nature with Love
Saturday, February 101 – 3 pm
Members: $12; Non-members: $15
Since ancient times, people have used plants to heal and care for themselves. But did you know that many herbal remedies can still be found in your backyard? In this make-and-take session, you’ll learn about botanicals used through history and make a healing lip balm to take home. Advance registration required by February 6, 2018.
Insect Migration: Monarchs and More
Sunday, February 112 – 3 pm
Members: $8; Non-members $12

Did you know that birds aren’t the only animals that migrate? Learn about the fascinating world of migratory insects from one of the masters in the field. Dr. Michael May will teach you that insect migration is more than just moving from one place to another. Learn what migration is, why and when insects relocate.
Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)
Saturday, February 1710 – 11 am
FREE for everyone

Join Michael O’Shea from Wild Birds Unlimited of Buckingham, PA, for a GBBC event at the Preserve. It is free, fun and easy – and it helps the birds! This annual four-day event (February 16 – 19) engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginner bird watchers to experts. The GBBC takes place in the Bird Observatory in the Preserve’s auditorium. Binoculars aren’t necessary, but would be helpful. Advance registration is requested.
Owl Babies
Saturday, February 171 -2 pm
Members: $5; Member Child: $3; Non-members: $6; Non-member Child: $4
Who is on the nest in the dead of winter? Owls! Join Katie Martens, education specialist from the Delaware Canal State Park, as she reads Martin Waddell’s classic book, Owl Babies. We will learn about amazing owl adaptations (including night vision, flight, hearing and hunting tactics) and touch and see real owl artifacts. Appropriate for ages 3 and up.
Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve Through the Years
Sunday, February 182 – 3 pm
Members: $8; Non-members: $12

The Preserve is rich in history, from the unique geology that shaped the land millions of years ago to a chance meeting between two conservation-minded people in 1933 and beyond. Journey with A. Miles Arnott, Preserve Executive Director, as he explores the many historical landmarks, both natural and cultural, that tell the story of Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve.
Growing Native Plants: Propagation from Seed
Saturday, February 2410 am – 12 pm
Members: $15; Non-members: $20

Start your wildflower gardening early. Take advantage of Preserve Curator Jason Ksepka’s expertise and learn how to start native wildflowers from seed. Jason will discuss interesting seed germination processes while you plant a variety of wildflower seeds in class to bring home and grow. All materials included.
Knowing Native Plants: Trees in Winter
Saturday, February 241 – 3 pm
Members: $15; Non-members: $20

Although trees are dormant this time of year, they exhibit many interesting botanical features to examine. Join Ed Lignowski, Ph.D., to learn how to identify native deciduous trees and shrubs when they have neither flowers nor leaves. Participants will learn to use a dichotomous keys based on characteristics of twigs, buds and bark; discover how trees are preparing for spring growth; and find out how flowing sap is used to make maple syrup. Advance registration is recommended. Most Knowing Native Plants presentations will be followed by an outdoor tour. Professional CEUs available.
The Battle for Suburbia: Deer and Invasive Plants
Sunday, February 252 -3 pm
Members: $8; Non-members: $12

Forests in suburban landscapes face the dual challenge of overabundant white-tailed deer and invasion by non-native plants. This combination influences the abundance and diversity of the understory plant community, including tree seedlings that are the future forest canopy. To test the strength of these factors, a field experiment has been running since 2013 in six forests in Central New Jersey that differ in deer pressure. Plant community responses to the combination of deer exclosure versus access and varying levels of non-native plant invasion are revealing striking differences between natives versus non-natives, and between woody versus herbaceous species.