You can learn about nature even in Winter. Here is the December class schedule for the New England Wild Flower Society, starting with Saturday, December 3, 2011, 9 am-3 p.m., Wetland Species Identification in Winter, Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA. Instructor Dennis Magee builds knowledge and skills for recognizing wetland trees and shrubs in winter. The morning session is spent indoors learning key identification features. After lunch, we go out in the field to see these plants in their habitats and determine wetland boundaries. Some familiarity with common wetland plants and taxonomy is helpful. Dress warmly and prepare for cold, wet field conditions. Bring a hand lens and a bag lunch. Fee: $76 (Member) / $91 (Nonmember). Cosponsored by New England Wild Flower Society and MA Audubon Drumlin Farm. Pre-registration is necessary, contact the registrar at 508-877-7630, ext. 3303.
Sunday, December 4, 2011, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Shrubs in Winter, Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA. The leaves are nearly gone from most shrubs, but you can still learn to recognize them. In this class, we focus on a number of macro-characteristics such as branching patterns, growth habits, bark, persistent fruit, galls, and habitats to help us identify more than 20 native New England shrubs in late fall and winter. Instructor Roland "Boot" Boutwell discusses the natural history of the shrubs we see. The program begins with a classroom session and then moves into the field. Look for such species as witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), and, of course, winterberry (Ilex verticillata) and wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens). Fee: $48 (Member) / $58 (Nonmember). Pre-registration is necessary, contact the registrar at 508-877-7630, ext. 3303.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.,Wildflower Propagation II, Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA. Learn tips for raising wildflowers from seed, allowing access to an astonishing variety of species not often seen in garden centers or nurseries. Develop a deeper appreciation of plant physiology and evolution. Instructor Kate Pawling discusses seed physiology and ecology as well as the various techniques used to germinate and grow a wide variety of native species, including such challenging genera as Trillium. Discuss seed and spore collection and storage. Clean and sow a variety of seed to take home and grow. All materials provided. Bring a bag lunch. Fee: $56 (Member) / $67 (Nonmember). Pre-registration is necessary, contact the registrar at 508-877-7630, ext. 3303.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Welcoming the Winter Solstice, Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA. The Winter Solstice marks the time of the year when the midday sun is at its lowest point in the sky. The Solstices mark key turning points in the year and have been celebrated by many cultures throughout history. The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day (and longest night) of the year, as well as the first day of winter. This year, the solstice occurs on Thursday, December 22 at 12:30 am. Instructor Roland "Boot" Boutwell helps us prepare for the solstice and celebrate the season with solstice history and lore, poetry, a solstice story and a walk outdoors to enjoy the setting sun and the beauty of nature. The program will end indoors with a short ceremony to welcome the solstice season followed by warm cider and cookies. Fee: $9 (Member) / $11 (Nonmember). Pre-registration is necessary, contact the registrar at 508-877-7630, ext. 3303.