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Activities around town for Apr. 30

AREA EARLY CHILDHOOD educators are pooling together their resources to launch a community arts and crafts project for families stuck at home during the pandemic. Most of the projects can be completed with materials easily found at home. Here's the first one: Create a "homing" pigeon.

Got Switchel? How about Bluebirds? The Makery at Hannaford Career Center continues to offer online workshops via the eMakery. The latest additions include a Switchel workshop and Bluebird house construction. 
Learn about the history of switchel, a historic drink from early America, popular with farmers during haying seasons of the past. On Thursday, May 7, from 5-6 p.m., Amy Mincher, historian and museum professional, will demonstrate how to make a few popular variations including a fermented version. Recipes will be provided in advance so that you can follow along during the class. There are three registration options: Free, whole fee of $6 or half fee of $3. Register at makeryatpahcc.org/event-3825392.
Anyone who has seen a Bluebird knows the unique joy it brings. On Thursday, may 7, from 7-8 p.m., Len Schmidt will take you through making a Bluebird house using the optional Materials Kit or with your own supplies. Just in time for Mother’s Day (hint, hint). According to Audubon.org, “Not long ago, many bluebirds nested in wooden fence posts, especially around farms. Many of those have been removed or replaced with treated wood, plastic or metal posts. A well built, and well place bluebird nest box in your own backyard can help boost local populations” – Audubon.org. Ther are two registration options: Free, following along with your own supplies, or $10 for materials kit. Several days before the event, information will be mailed about a no contact pickup of the Kit at Hannaford Career Center. Register here.
Both workshops have a limit of 30. 
Science where you are. The Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury is offering online adventures in science aimed at learning more about the world around us using materials found outside, in the closet, or in the recycle bins. Go on adventures, create experiments, and build models that help you observe and understand the language of nature. Every day there are new classes guided by Fairbanks educators. Topics include a study of wildflowers, and Eco Art Critters. Check the virtual classroom calendar for details. Click here to see what’s on offer.
Museum at home. While visitors are not able to visit Shelburne Museum, the museum is offering online exhibitions with recorded talks from curators, behind the scenes conservation insights and activities. The first exhibition, “Color, Pattern, Whimsy & Scale” is focused on Shelburne Museum founder Electra Havemeyer Webb and her passion for American folk art. The exhibition explores her collecting ethos as she assembled one of the earliest and largest collections that would become 
Forthcoming exhibitions include American Stories an overview of the early American experience as seen through the art, architecture and collections of Shelburne Museum. Go to shelburnemuseum.org/museum-from-home to see the full list of activities.
Make it Together: Homing Pigeon. Area early childhood educators are pooling together their resources to launch a community arts and crafts project for families stuck at home during the pandemic. Most of the projects can be completed with materials easily found at home. Here’s the first one:
Create a “homing pigeon” that delivers messages to all in the house. Assemble the following materials: 
•  Poster board/file folder/cereal box panel  or other heavy paper (to cut the bird shape)
•  half-sheet of typing or other paper (for the message from “home”)
•  scissors
•  yarn or string
•  colored pencils, markers or crayons
•  stapler — optional
•  hole punch — optional
•  paper clip — optional**
Write a message of thanks, good wishes or other message. Draw it if you would like that better. 
Fold the paper back and forth like a fan, starting at a short end; make the folds thin and even if you can. Staple in the middle, if you want to, then set aside — this makes the wings. 
Draw a bird’s body on the heavy paper. (Sample pattern, or your own shape.) Cut it out. Cut a slit in the bottom of the bird’s body; punch a hole above the slit a bit to the right. Decorate the bird shape — both sides, or only one, as you decide.
Slip the fanned note into the slit and spread the folds outward to make the wings.
Loop a piece of yarn or string through the hole.
**Bend a paper clip into an “S” shape and attach it to the top of the yarn
Share — hang up.
Hear a virtual choir. YouTube is a bit of a goldmine for virtual choirs. Search for Couch Choir and enjoy listening to more 1,000 people singing in unison from their couches. It’s an auditory and visual treat to expreinece the Carpenter’s “Close to You” or David Bowie’s “Heroes” this way. Virtual Choir does a lovely rendition of Down to the River. South Africa’s Roedean School students met virtually in this quarantine time to sing together Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Let yourself go down this rabbit hole and see what other inspiring performances you can find.
Take a hike. It’s getting warmer and early spring flowers like trout lilies, hepatica, and bloodroot are on their way to blooming. Getting out into the woods is a great way to see them and feel the promise of warmer weather to come. Here are some suggestions. 
Moosalamoo has 70 miles of trails on 16,000 acres. Check out their new website and get out on the trails.
Rokeby Museum’s walking trails are open to all comers. Spring is a great time, and be sure to wear your boots –— lots of vernal pools to explore. Learn more about this cultural and natural heritage trail, and see the map.
MALT is providing great programs including Connect with Nature home-based activities, and The Great TAM Hunt Part II with signs spread out on the trails and secrets clues that may win you a prize.
Blueberry Hill Inn trails are open. You are welcome to park on the Outdoor Center side of the road to access them. Download or print a map from the Outdoor Center page or pick one up at the kiosk located in parking area.

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