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Browsing posts tagged with: members

Trip Report: Members Walk at Deer Foot Farm

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
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On Saturday, Gary Roberts, Registered Maine Guide, longtime Maine Audubon volunteer, and co-owner of Deer Foot Farm in Appleton, led a small group of Maine Audubon members on a walk around his farm.  He began by recounting the history of the farm and the surrounding area, then describing the plans for the farm which include a forestry plan, farm store, and trails that will be open to the public.

As we began our very chilly walk, we crossed a hay field to the forest leading down to Sennebec Lake.  Within minutes, we were looking at a pair of porcupines sunning themselves in their lofty tree home and listening to a pair of loons calling out on the lake.  Gary led us along the lake and up through a blueberry barren to the upper part of the farm, where he took us to a large tree housing an active wild bee hive.  From there we continued along a stone wall back to the farm and a nice lunch at a local café.

Gary and his wife intend to build walking trails throughout their property for public use and Maine Audubon will be sure to return!


Muriel Brown: Perhaps Maine Audubon’s Most Loyal Member

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
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M. Kathleen Kelly took this lovely photo of Muriel Brown at the 2008 Peony Bloom and Ice Cream Social. Kathleen's conversation with her is noted here »

M. Kathleen Kelly took this lovely photo of Muriel Brown at the 2008 Peony Bloom and Ice Cream Social. Kathleen’s conversation with her is noted here »

This week’s bitter cold has us looking forward to spring and the rebirth of our renowned heirloom peonies here at Gilsland Farm. At this time, however, we would like you to join us in fondly remembering Muriel Brown, who passed away on January 16.

Her longstanding devotion to our mission and constant “spring” attitude about life served as a regular encouragement as we went about our work on behalf of Maine’s wildlife.

Our records don’t go back far enough to know, however, not long ago we recognized her as our longest standing member. A member of our Peony Circle of Friends, which recognizes supporters of 20 years or more, Muriel talked with us in 2005 about her devotion to wildlife and nature.


Muriel Brown arrived at the Peony Bloom and Ice Cream Social wearing her jaunty red garden hat brimming with flowers and an owl t-shirt in honor of Maine Audubon and the peonies. At that time we learned a little more about her history with Maine Audubon.

Portland Society of Natural History building, 22 Elm St, Portland, Maine (current public library resides on this lot)

Portland Society of Natural History building, 22 Elm St, Portland, Maine (current public library resides on this lot). Maine Audubon moved to Gilsland Farm in Falmouth in 1971, and the public library was built in 1979.

Muriel remembers joining Maine Audubon before she was married and attending programs in the downtown Portland Society of Natural History building at 22 Elm St where the public library now resides, from which Maine Audubon originated.

She recalled that on one ill-fated birding boat trip, the boat sprung a leak near Bath and they had to limp into dock, bailing all the way. Given that she and her recently deceased husband Charlie had just celebrated their 50th anniversary, she thought she had been a member for more than 50 years.

Raised in Bath, she met and married Charlie, who was a charming musician and outdoorsman. Her father-in-law sparked her interest in birds as he could identify many bird songs. His favorite was the catbird and Muriel told us she loved it best also. The Browns had 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls right after another. Muriel loved to attend Maine Audubon’s programs as an excuse to get out of the house, and when the children were older, she also liked for her children to attend programs to get them outdoors. She remained a member years later because she loves birds and nature and what Maine Audubon does for them.

Muriel liked to garden and bird watch in her backyard. She recalled to us when grocery stores used to give suet away, but later she had to pay $1 for it and, that she would set it out during the day for the birds only to take it in at night so the raccoons wouldn’t raid the feeders! In her later years she did not garden as much and the Peony event was a great occasion to put on her gardening hat and enjoy a nice evening with the folks she has supported for over 50 years.

Our thanks to Muriel’s family for letting us know of Muriel’s passing, and for suggesting a gift to Maine Audubon in her honor in lieu of flowers. We appreciate this closing expression of Muriel’s dedication to nature and wildlife and will remember her fondly.


Mackworth Island Members Walk Sightings

Saturday, April 14th, 2012
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Our members walk around Mackworth Island proved spring is in the air.

Staff Naturalist Mike Windsor sets up the spotting scope on Mackworth Island Friday

Staff naturalist Mike Windsor and membership manager Debbie Atwood led members around Mackworth Island and spotted the following:
  • Bufflehead
  • Common loon
  • American black duck
  • Mallard
  • Ring-billed gull
  • Herring gull
  • Goldfinch
  • Song sparrow
  • Common goldeneye
  • Common eider
  • Horned grebe
  • Osprey (fishing and eating)
  • White-breasted nuthatch
  • Pine warbler