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January 2019

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January Program: Every Rock Tells a Story
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Field Trip: Tracking Program
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Meeting: NIAS Conservation CommitteeMeeting: NIAS Board Meeting
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Field Trip: Open Land Birding
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Field Trip: An Afternoon at the Burpee Museum
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MeetingsJanuary Program: Every Rock Tells a Story

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
7 p.m.
St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 Park Blvd., Freeport, IL
Speaker: Steve Simpson, Retired Geology Instructor, Highland Community College

NOTE: THIS IS THE SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH DUE TO THE NEW YEAR HOLIDAY.

As a young man traveling through the wilderness of Canada, Steve Simpson began to wonder about the language of rocks. He wondered so much that he went to college to study them before embarking on a 32-year career teaching geology, including 31 years at Highland Community College in Freeport.

The program will start with an “Antiques Roadshow” style show and tell, where attendees will bring in rocks and fossils and Steve will help unravel the stories the rocks reveal. So COME PREPARED with your favorite doorstop, curio, or fossil. After that, Steve will give a presentation on some of the more interesting stories that rocks have revealed to the careful investigations of geologists.

This program is free and open to the public. For information about this program contact Teresa at 815-238-3963.

Field TripsField Trip: Tracking Program

Saturday, January 12, 2019
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd., Freeport, IL
Leader: Richard Benning, 815-865-5279

Learn about the age-old art of tracking. Peoples’ lives depended on knowing about the quarry they hunted in cultures of the past. Today, tracking gives us a chance to learn about what animals are present and what they are doing when we can’t see them.

Things covered will include footprints, gait, scat, chewings and thinking like an animal. The program will start in the Mogle Center before we venture outside. Dress for the weather, including appropriate footwear for walking in snow.

This program is free and open to the public. For questions about this program call Richard Benning at 815-865-5279.

MeetingsMeeting: "Talking About the Issues"

Sunday, January 13, 2019
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
1712 W Parkview Dr, Freeport, IL
Leader: Dick Luthin, 815-232-8624

“Talking About the Issues” monthly discussion, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the home of Dick Luthin, 1712 W. Parkview Dr., Freeport (815-232-8624). The first hour topic will be a discussion of a relatively new concept many conservation biologists are supporting: it’s the early successional habitat – those dense, tangled thickets of young saplings, fruit-bearing shrubs and vines – that birds need most. For a copy of the article contact Laura Dufford at 815-947-2720, or pick up a copy at the January monthly program. The second hour will be an open discussion of whatever issues are brought forth. Everyone is welcome.

MeetingsMeeting: NIAS Conservation Committee

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
6 – 7 p.m.
St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 Park Blvd., Freeport, IL

MeetingsMeeting: NIAS Board Meeting

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
7 p.m.
St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 Park Blvd., Freeport, IL

Field TripsField Trip: Open Land Birding

Saturday, January 19, 2019
9 a.m. – noon
Former Staples, 1722 S West Ave, Freeport, IL
Leader: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

Once again we will travel local country roads in search of those open land species from the north that frequent our area primarily during the winter. This year you again have two opportunities for fun – come to either or both!

Although the typically more common species – Snow Bunting, Lapland Longspur and Horned Lark – were again in short supply last year, we had terrific looks on one of the outings of a Snowy Owl, even observing it in flight. Other species we’ll search for include Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Shrike and Merlin. Of course we’ll enjoy any bird we see, including our many year-round residents.

We will carpool and cruise country roads in local areas that were historically prairie. Viewing will be done predominantly from vehicles, using cars as blinds. Optional lunch after in Freeport. Carpool from the former Staples lot in Freeport at 9:00 a.m. Confirm your attendance by calling Mary.

Field TripsField Trip: An Afternoon at the Burpee Museum

Sunday, January 27, 2019
12:30 – 5 p.m.
Trip Coordinator: Laura Dufford, 815-947-2720, lauradufford@gmail.com
Special Trip Host: John Walt, Burpee Museum volunteer

Cost: Adult $10.00, Children 4-12 $9.00, Children under 4 and Burpee Members – free

We have the honor of having John Walt for an afternoon at the Burpee Museum. John was involved with the making of one of Burpee’s newer exhibit: Survival of the Smallest. ‘Small but mighty, learn how insects are adapted for success in the natural world. From smells to sounds to amazing movements…each insect will tell you a story! We’ll enjoy the beautiful specimens of many different insects and learn how they compete, adapt and survive!’

John has also promised to give us a look behind the scenes at the museum. While visiting Burpee we’ll have time to view the many other exhibits from dinosaurs, local geology (a great follow-up from our Geology field trip in October), The First People, wildlife of the Rock River Valley, and a brand new Children’s Learning Laboratory.

Carpool from the former Staples parking lot, Freeport at 12:30 p.m. or meet at Burpee Museum shortly after 1:00. Please call or email Laura to confirm your attendance.