PHOTO: A feisty Common Yellowthroat graces the cover of our local nature calendar
The Athol Bird and Nature Club Calendar is back!
Sorry, the 2016 Nature Calendars are sold out
You will have the option to pay by check or by credit card. If you choose check, we will e-mail you a copy of your form to print and mail in with your check. If you choose credit card, you will be sent to PayPal to choose the billing details.
After a 4-year break in publishing, the Athol Bird and Nature Club (ABNC) calendar is back, and as before it is chock full of nature notes, trivia questions and of course, some amazing photos of local birds, animals and plants. While many people may enjoy a calendar with pictures of exotic nature and scenery, the “Birds and Nature of the North Quabbin 2016” calendar focuses on the local beauty of this region making this calendar a local treasure.
The calendar showcases photos taken exclusively in the North Quabbin region by Athol Bird and Nature Club members. In addition, each month features extensive nature notes that provide very specific information such as when certain birds are migrating into or out of the area, when native wildflowers are blooming, when the peak of several meteor showers occur, and even when to listen for coyotes howling. Club members have an extremely broad range of interests, so a very diverse set of nature notes was compiled merely by picking their brains.
Fine-tuned for the climate in this area, the nature notes are what set this calendar apart from other pretty nature calendars. According to Cindy Hartwell of New Salem, creator of the calendar, many people have told her that they frequently use the calendar as a learning tool with their children by going outside and trying to find what the calendar says to look for.
To further enhance the learning value of the calendar, each month features a nature trivia question. Do you know what insect has six legs but cannot walk? Or how long a snail can sleep? Get the calendar to find out; the answers are on the inside back cover. Interesting facts about each month’s photo are also provided along with the photo credit to the member who took the photo and which North Quabbin town the photo was taken in.
In keeping with the local theme, the calendar was printed by Highland Press of Athol, and as in previous years, area businesses paid for advertising in the calendar to help cover the printing costs. “Even with a 4-year break in producing the calendar, the local businesses jumped right back on board and continued their enthusiastic support” said Cindy. “We produced a high-quality product each year and in the years we did not produce the calendar, we had people asking for them. People love to give them as gifts; they are great for grandparents and children, and are a wonderful reminder of home to family and friends that no longer live in the area.”
The 2016 calendars were available for purchase through the following local merchants: Trail Head and Mount Tully Kennels in Orange; Flowerland, Cornerstone Insurance, the Millers River Environmental Center, MacMannis Florist, Agway, and the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce in Athol; the New Salem General Store in New Salem; the Wendell Country Store in Wendell; the Red Apple Farm in Phillipston; the Petersham Craft Center and Harvard Forest in Petersham; Connecticut River Liquors in Turners Falls; the Solar Store of Greenfield, and the Wine Rack in Greenfield.
The ABNC, founded in 1963 by Athol science teacher, the late Robert B. Coyle, is today considered one of the state’ leading natural history clubs, with more than 250 members from around New England and beyond. New members are always welcome.
As the caretaker of the Millers River Environmental Center (MREC), ABNC is responsible for its maintenance and upkeep. In the past, many expenses were covered by grants, but as grant money becomes more difficult to secure, alternative sources of funds are needed. And with fuel costs remaining high, all proceeds from the calendar sales will go to MREC to help keep the building warm and open for use by the community over the winter.
To learn more about the Athol Bird & Nature Club or the Millers River Environmental Center, or to order a Nature Calendar, go to www.atholbirdclub.org.
Contributions to the Center can be sent to MREC, 100 Main Street, Athol, MA 01331.