Now that I’m not on Facebook, I don’t have an easy way to update folks about upcoming events they may find helpful or of interest — unless I do it here. Today’s post will list some upcoming events sponsored by various organizations in my area. All of these events are free and virtual. I see this as an advantage, because if you live anywhere in the southeastern US, most of the talks described below will be relevant. And even if you’re from a distant land, you may well enjoy some of these. I can’t think of a better way to pass the time until the weather improves enough for serious gardening again.
My local chapter of this national non-profit that is, literally, for the birds is a top-notch group of folks. Their Web site is chock full of useful information on native birds, and the section on what they do to promote bird-friendly landscapes is worth a careful read. The blog link covers an array of useful topics, and, yes, you’ll find a couple written by me. I love their monthly meetings that always feature programs by fascinating speakers. Before the pandemic, these meetings (open to all free of charge) were held at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. The virtual meetings are almost as good (virtual mingling is just not the same as the in-person version). This past Thursday, we heard from Bo Howes, of the Triangle Land Conservancy and past president of New Hope Audubon, who explained the vital importance of conservation land not only to native wildlife, but also for preserving water quality and provide socially distant recreation for stir-crazy humans. Go here to find recordings of all the virtual meetings since last October. I especially recommend that you check out the presentations by Nick Harper and Lesley Starke. You can listen to these recordings any time.
February 25, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. — An NC Botanical Garden Virtual Lunchbox Talk in partnership with New Hope Audubon Society
This talk by NC State University Master of Science student Lauren Pharr will describe the effects of urban noise and light pollution on birds. Spoiler alert — the impacts are significant, and not in a good way. All the NC Botanical Garden Lunchbox talks are free, but you need to register at the link above so they can send you a link to the presentation.
Like the New Hope Audubon Society, this garden, which focuses entirely on the native vegetation of the southeastern US, has been offering virtual lectures on an array of topics since last year. Numerous excellent past presentations can be viewed free of charge merely by visiting this link. The Garden is also offering an assortment of classes at reasonable prices, and two more free lunchbox talks are on the horizon:
- Mike Kunz, NCBG Conservation Ecologist, will talk about rare wildflowers of North Carolina on February 11 at noon. Register here.
- On March 11, Misty Buchanan, Director of the NC Natural Heritage Program, will talk about mitigating climate change through NC’s natural and working lands. Register here for that one.
The Garden has two more special free lectures coming up that may be of interest:
- This year’s Darwin Day Lecture will be at noon on February 12: Dr. Senay Yitbarek’s lecture is titled, Spatial Structure as a Mechanism for Diversity: Co-existence, Co-infection, and Pathogen Invasion. For more details and to register, go here.
- I’m looking forward to this year’s annual Evelyn McNeill Sims Native Plant Lecture on April 11 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. Dr. Drew Lanham will discuss “what it means to embrace the full breadth of his African-American heritage and his deep kinship to nature and adoration of birds.” Register here for that one.
The Southern Piedmont Chapter of this organization is teaming with the UNCC Botanical Gardens to provide a free virtual presentation on Feb. 14 at 2:00 p.m.: How to Help Your Tree Live a Long and Healthy Life.
This wonderful non-profit is offering an array of virtual lectures, including their Winter in the Refuges Webinar Series. We missed the first one, but here are your options for the rest of this free virtual series (links take you to relevant registration pages):
- Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 6:00 p.m.
- Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6:00 p.m.
- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Wednesday, 24 at 6:00 p.m.
Regional chapters of the NC Wildlife Federation are also offering free virtual talks:
- Insects and the Environment, Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m.
- Colonial Nesting Birds of the Lower Cape Fear, Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m.
With Wonder Spouse’s invaluable assistance, I planted 8 new small bare-root trees yesterday — three each of two native species new to our five acres and two of a species we’ve added in the last few years. I hope to share more details about all recent native species additions soon. Meanwhile, please go check out the upcoming talks at the links above.