Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Williams astronomer captures eclipse images; Bryant Day; National Moth Week workshop; Housatonic River cleanup; youth tennis program

Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center will celebrate National Moth Week Tuesday, July 24, from 8 to 10 p.m., with a workshop about nighttime pollinators, insects and moths.

Williams College astronomer captures solar eclipse images from Australia

Williamstown — Jay Pasachoff, professor of astronomy at Williams College and chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Solar Eclipses, observed the second solar eclipse of the year from the grounds of the Mount Pleasant Radio Observatory of the University of Tasmania in Australia. It was the 68th solar eclipse that he has observed.

Pasachoff reports that the partial eclipse lasted 64 minutes and that weather conditions were ideal, with clear skies virtually for the entire duration. According to Pasachoff, a total solar eclipse was visible only from Antarctica and southernmost parts of Australia, especially Tasmania, where 10 percent of the solar disk was covered at maximum.

Pasachoff captured images of the eclipse using a Nikon D600 and 500-mm f/8 Nikkor lens and a Thousand Oaks Optical filter as well as with a Nikon D7100 and 400 mm Nikkor lens with a Questar filter.

Two more partial solar eclipses—Aug. 11, 2018, and Jan. 6, 2019—will take place before the next total solar eclipse July 2, 2019, which Pasachoff will observe from Chile.


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William Cullen Bryant Homestead to celebrate Bryant Day

The William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Photo courtesy Trustees of Reservations

Cummington — On Saturday, July 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the William Cullen Bryant Homestead will host its annual Bryant Day celebration of history, literature, nature and craft.

The day’s activities will include guided walks along the Rivulet Trail, Civil War-era ballroom dancers, a guided tour of the 19th-century barn with timber framer Dave Bowman, historical society displays, specialty craft vendors, a quilt show, and spinning and weaving demonstrations. The day will also feature a lecture by author Frank Gado on “Bryant, Cole, the Hudson River School and the Emergence of American Literature”; as well as a talk by historian, author and Edge columnist Carole Owens on “Remarkable Women of New England.”

Admission is $10 for the general public and $5 for Trustees of Reservations members. For more information, contact (413) 200.7262 or acaluori@thetrustees.org.


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A polyphemous moth found by Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center students during a summer 2017 nature program. Photo courtesy Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center

Tamarack Hollow to celebrate National Moth week with workshop on pollinators

Windsor — Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center will celebrate National Moth Week Tuesday, July 24, from 8 to 10 p.m., at which moth specialist Betsy Higgins, insect enthusiast Jason Crockwell and Tamarack Hollow staff will hold a workshop about nighttime pollinators, insects and moths. Two large, lit screens will be set up in different locations and participants will collect data to document and identify as many species as they can. There will also be a campfire with marshmallows, and moth stories to share! The cost of the workshop is $10 for the general public, and free for youth ages 12 and under and Windsor residents. Registration is requested due to limited space. For more information or to register, contact aimee@gaiaroots.com.


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Volunteers help clean up the West Branch of the Housatonic River in Pittsfield. Photo courtesy Berkshire Environmental Action Team

Volunteers sought for Housatonic River cleanup event

Pittsfield — Community members are invited to join together Saturday, July 21, to help clean trash out of the West Branch of the Housatonic River. Volunteers will set out from Wahconah Park at 9 a.m. to pick up trash from alongside and in the river. The group will meet back at the park at noon for lunch, which will be provided free for volunteers, as well as goodie bags from Blue Q.

All are welcome. Participants are asked to bring waders, boots and hip boots if they have them, though Berkshire Environmental Action Team and the Housatonic Valley Association will have a few pairs to borrow. Volunteers are also asked to bring refillable water bottles as well as sunscreen and bug repellant. BEAT will provide work gloves and bags, and a few pairs of grabbers. Some groups will paddle in canoes and some will walk along the banks and/or wade into the river.

An additional cleanup event will be held Saturday, Aug. 18. For more information, contact (413) 717-1255 or elizabeth@thebeatnews.org.


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Lee Community Tennis Association announces ongoing sign-ups

Lee — The Lee Community Tennis Association is offering an extended sign-up period for their team tennis programs geared toward youth ages 5 through 18 years. United States Tennis Association junior team tennis runs for four more weeks with practices Monday and Tuesday nights at Lee High School. Practices are organized by Lee CTA, which works with top coaches from around Berkshire County including girls’ Coach of the Year Norma Comalli and Miss Hall’s School varsity coach Rich Butler. Youth instruction programs are ongoing, and registration is still available for programs in Lee and Lenox. Additional programs are being planned for the fall.

All programs run through mid-August. Enrollments are ongoing and open to all youth in Berkshire County. Scholarships are available. For more information, contact info@leecta.com.



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