September always brings a tinge of sadness for those of us summer-loving sun seekers. All of a sudden, the nights are cool and the kids are back in school.
This September in particular threatens to lower my spirits. Summer gatherings brought so much joy, and just when we thought we could safely socialize, now there’s a return to uncertainty around indoor gatherings, masking, and social distancing.
But here at Maine Audubon, we’ve learned a lot in the past year. For one thing, we know Mainers love and need the outdoors to stay sane and healthy. Our sanctuaries continue to be wonderful places of respite, free and open every day, dawn to dusk, for walking, nature watching, exploring, and meeting up with family and friends in a safe space.
We’ve also learned that we can stay engaged and connect with each other, not just virtually, but in person, too. Our work to connect people to wildlife and habitat is more relevant than ever. This fall, we’ve got something for everyone at our sanctuaries, so we encourage you to explore our Events calendar and find an activity that will get you engaged, connected, and active.
Want creative inspiration? From September 9 through 12, a visit to any of our sanctuaries will mean you can watch artists painting the landscapes around them as part of our Brush with Nature plein air painting festival. Bring a sketchbook or journal, and find your own inspiration for creativity.
Love a party? The Autumn Equinox at the Audubon, on September 22, is a fundraiser hosted by Portside Real Estate Group featuring live music, lawn games, walking tours of the Gilsland Farm Audubon Sanctuary, delicious bites from local food trucks, and local beer and wine. It’s family friendly, too!
Want to see some birds? Weekly bird walks at Scarborough Marsh continue on Wednesday mornings through September. The popular Bald Eagles of Merrymeeting Bay boat trip will take place on September 18, and our boat trips have all current COVID safety precautions in place.
Need to keep the kids active? Family Fun takes place outdoors every Wednesday at Gilsland Farm and at Fields Pond. And mark your calendars now: We’re turning our traditional fall family festival Apple Day into a new event called Fall Frolic on October 2, with fun activities for all ages, from jumping in a giant leaf pile and learn why we should “leave the leaves,” launching native plant seedballs into our meadow; tackling a Monarch migration obstacle course; getting a closer look at our tractor and other tools of habitat restoration; exploring seed science & plant part art; and more!
Got a green thumb? Maine Audubon and Wild Seed Project are teaming up to bring you an in-person three-part series about some key concepts of rewilding: transforming your lawn into layers of native plants, adopting mindful landscape practices that benefit wildlife and the planet’s health, and planting native trees that support local food webs. Sign up for one, or all three.
Just want to run on a trail? Head to Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden for the Fall Foliage 5K trail run on October 9.
Ready for a good paddling? There are still two more sunset canoe tours at Scarborough Marsh.
That’s just a sampling. Spend some time browsing our Events Calendar and you’ll see both in-person and virtual events, from Stream Smart training sessions to mushroom foraging walks, sunset canoe tours to educator workshops. I look forward to seeing you this fall!