Bits & Bytes: Berkshire BioBlitz; Berkshire Fermentation Festival; Neal at Williams College; CATA poetry reading

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By Monday, Sep 11 Life In the Berkshires
Participants catalog wildlife at the 2015 Berkshire BioBlitz. Photo courtesy Berkshire Environmental Action Team

Berkshire BioBlitz to catalog wildlife

Great Barrington — As part of the 50-year celebration of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, the eighth annual Berkshire BioBlitz will be held at Thomas and Palmer Brook beginning at noon on Saturday, Sept. 16, and ending at noon on Sunday, Sept. 17.

Berkshire BioBlitz is an opportunity for biologists, naturalists and environmentalists to work in collaboration with the general public to survey the Thomas and Palmer Brook land within a 24-hour period and name as many living species as possible. On hand to explore, identify and educate will be about 20 specialists including John Wheeler of the Berkshire Mycological Society, iNaturalist‘s Jason Crockwell, “Field Guide to Invertebrate Tracks and Signs” co-author Charley Eiseman, and local birders Christine and Greg Ward. BNRC staff will lead and answer questions. Berkshire wildlife tracker and Berkshire Environmental Action Team program manager Elia Del Molino will lead a mammal-tracking workshop, and there will also be an invasive species identification exhibit. Two programs will take place after dark: a “Moth-Light” demonstration by Mark Mello of the Lloyd Center for the Environment and an “Owl Prowl.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact berkshirebioblitz@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Third annual Berkshire Fermentation Festival

The 2015 Berkshire Fermentation Festival. Photo courtesy Berkshire Ferments

Great Barrington — Berkshire Ferments will present the third annual Berkshire Fermentation Festival Sunday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Great Barrington Fairgrounds. The daylong celebration of the diversity of all things cultured and will include a variety of vendors, demonstrations and activities.

The festival will feature hourly demonstrations on such topics making water kefir, kombucha and beer; transformative processes in fermentation; dyeing with lichens; and the fermentation of meat. Tufts University microbiologist Benjamin Wolfe will present the microbiology of fermented vegetables. Musical entertainment will be provided by Heather Fisch and the Honeysuckle Brothers as well as the Blue Light Trio. Book signings will take place with Adam Elabd, Ken Fornataro, Derek Dellinger and Storey Publishing. There will also be a culture swap, children’s activities and a fermentation spelling bee. Local and regional vendors will have a variety of foods, crafts, tools and more for sale.

There is a $5 suggested donation for admission. For more information, contact berkshireferments@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Neal to discuss tax reform at Williams College

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal

Williamstown — On Friday, Sept. 15, at 1:30 p.m., Rep. Richard Neal will speak at Williams College about the politics and policy considerations around changing the U.S. tax structure under President Donald Trump. The event will take place in Griffin Hall, Room 3.

First elected to Congress in 1988, Neal is the ranking member of the tax-writing Committee on Ways and Means. Prior to his service in Congress, Neal was a former city councilor and mayor of Springfield. In Congress, Neal has worked on legislation to prevent American companies from moving offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes. A native of Worcester, Neal graduated from American International College in Springfield in 1972 with a degree in political science. He received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Hartford Barney School of Business in 1976.

The event is free and open to the public. For building locations on the Williams campus, consult the online map or contact the Office of Communications at (413) 597-4277.

–E.E.

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The Mount to host CATA poetry reading

Rachel Siegel

Lenox — Community Access to the Arts will present its annual poetry reading Thursday, Sept. 14, at 5:30 p.m. at the Mount. Writer and performer Rachel Siegel will read selected excerpts from the CATA Writers’ Workshop, at which writers with disabilities meet weekly to develop their skills in poetry, haiku, autobiography and short-story writing. The event is free and open to the public but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, contact the CATA office at (413) 528-5485 or sarah@cataarts.org.

–E.E.


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