Events & Programs
- Thursday Morning Bird & Nature Walks
Join us each Thursday for an easy stroll through Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm Sanctuary. We will walk the property looking for birds, wildlife and plants. Bring your binoculars and a field guide if you have one. Please dress to be comfortable outside for two hours.
We meet near the main parking lot. If you arrive late we are typically by the pond for the first 15-20 minutes before heading out.
- Group Canoe Tour Adventures
This 1 1/2 hour program provides a special opportunity for participants to explore the salt marsh. During this unique paddle adventure participants become a part of the dynamic Dunstan River habitat, observing its inhabitants in their natural setting. We will see crabs, fish, feeding birds, edible plants and more!
- Salt Marsh Nature Explorations
In this 1 1/2 hour interactive exploration, students have the opportunity for hands-on learning about the adaptations of plants and animals unique to the salt marsh. Participants will have a chance to catch and release fish, look through algae to find small organisms feeding there, and test the unique characteristics of the marsh mud in comparison to the upland soil.
- Wednesday Morning Bird & Nature Walks
The best birding is often early morning when birds are busy feeding. Look and listen for snowy egret, glossy ibis, herons, willet, sparrows and more. We start our tours at the nature center and carpool to birding “hotspots” in the immediate area. Birders of all levels and abilities are welcome to join. This program is led by a variety of bird leaders.
- Daily Guided Canoe Tours
Discover the wildlife and plants of Scarborough Marsh as you paddle the Dunstan River. Gliding through the marsh, you will be exposed to its many inhabitants, from the snowy egret catching fish along the edge of the river to the mummichugs swimming in the water. A trained naturalist will show you the numerous marsh plants and even give you a taste of an edible one. This tour is suitable for both novice and experienced paddlers. 10 – 11:30 Daily. No reservations needed.
- Art Exhibit: Endangered Blue by mp Warming
This Endangered Blue Art/Science print series was created for the preservation of American Blue butterflies. The science found within these graphics is derived from conservation efforts for the Karner Blue butterfly, discovered by the author Vladimir Nabokov. Nabokov discovered his Blue (lycaenidae melissa samuelis) in the city of Albany, formerly known as Karner, New York.
Enormous conservation efforts are in effect at sites across the United States for the preservation of Nabokov’s Blue. Because of the little butterfly’s limited range and specificity to habitat, it is known as a harbinger of climate change. The Karner Blue could suffer extinction at any of these sites from one winter of limited snow-pack.
In the Karner’s habitat, flora grows atop approximately sixty feet of sand. This flora must be burned every four or five years to maintain the acidity levels in the soil. This acid is needed for the native lupine flowers to grow. Karners have a symbiotic relationship to the lupines, as the mature butterflies lay their eggs on the plant, the caterpillars eat the leaves, and the newly hatched butterflies feed off the nectar. Conservation efforts include a routine of “prescribed burning”. If you look closely at the fire images in the prints, you will see the conservationists in their fire-safe gear.
The three graphite butterfly drawings were created by the artist from Nabokov’s lepidoptera (moth and butterfly) collection at the American Museum of Natural History. High resolution images of Nabokov’s article “Notes on Neotropical Plebejinæ” and his letter to William Comstock, pictured in the prints, were provided by the American Museum of Natural History’s Special Collection Library. Most of the other drawings are by Maria Sybilla Merian, a seventeenth century nature artist whose drawings influenced Nabokov’s interest in lepidoptery. Science from Blue butterfly conservation efforts was derived from reports by the US Department of Fish and Game.
The graphics also include information and images of other butterflies in the American Blue family. The larger colored butterflies in the prints are the artist’s scientific renderings of Xerces Blues. Xerces was the first American Blue butterfly known to have become extinct. In life Xerces were the same small size as all the American Blues, which are comparable in size to a postage stamp. Microscopic detailed images of the Xerces were lent to the artist for this project by the Essig Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Berkeley.
These archival, limited edition prints were created especially for exhibition at the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, which opened in April of 2015. Endangered Blue is now traveling to nature centers around the United States- beginning with this exhibition at the Audubon Society in the artist’s home state of Maine.
The artist would like to add her appreciation for authors Lepidopterist Kurt Johnson and Arts & Culture Editor for the NY Times, Steve Coates, whose beautiful book Nabokov’s Blues: The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius inspired this series.