Events

    How Birds Work: Eggs

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    How does an egg become an egg? Why do chickens continue to lay eggs day after day? What controls the shape of eggs? Why do eggs of different species of birds have different colors? And how strong are eggshells?

    In this talk which follows previous talks about bird flight, migration, and feathers, Lorna Gibson answers common questions about bird eggs.

    Learn more...

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    Lilac Therapy Walk

    Location: 

    Map Table by the Ponds, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Every May, visitors flock to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain to breathe in the fragrant lilac collection and witness the array of color. This flower has a history of medicinal use and if you have ever spent time inhaling this sweet fragrance you may have noticed a sense of calm and relaxation.

    May can be a time of unwinding as we transition into a new season under a warmer and brighter sun. Whether you've been visiting the lilac collection for years or have yet to experience them, this is an invitation to unplug, de-stress, and recharge on a guided lilac therapy walk....

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    Lilac Sunday

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Lilac Sunday has been celebrated at the Arnold Arboretum since 1908. The lilac collection at the Arnold Arboretum is among the premier collections of these plants in North America and is singled out each year for a daylong celebration on May 12.

    Tours of the lilacs and family activities are available from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Sunday, May 12. Pack a picnic! Picnicking is permitted on this day only, but food must be brought in to the Arboretum. There will only be lemonade, slush, and ice cream available on site during event hours. The landscape is open from dawn until dusk...

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    Exhibition: Drawn to Paint: Paintings of Arboretum Trees

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Artist, Paul Olson, has been discovering the nuances of the Arnold Arboretum’s collections since he first passed through its gates in 2011. A landscape painter for decades, Olson explores the grounds with sketchbook in hand, typically in the early morning hours. His goal is to be unencumbered by any agenda and open to what the light of the day presents. In 2012, he had an exhibition at the Arboretum titled “Drawn to Woods.” The expressive ink drawings in that show were all completed en plein air—on-site in the open air.

    In this new exhibition, Olson brings his on-site...

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    Landscape Plant Selection, Planting, and Establishment

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Ensuring the long-term health of your landscape starts with healthy plants from the nursery, proper site selection and preparation, and sound planting and establishment. Andrew Gapinski will discuss professional standards and techniques, along with common issues and solutions for both balled-and-burlapped and containerized specimens. He will focus on landscape trees, shrubs, and perennials—ornamental annuals and vegetables will not be covered in this offering. Class will start indoors and then move outdoors to the Dana Greenhouse Nursery.

    Cost: $30 members, $...

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    Film Screening: Lobster War: The Fight Over the World's Richest Fishing Grounds

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Lobster War is an award-winning documentary film about a conflict between the United States and Canada over waters that both countries have claimed since the end of the Revolutionary War. The disputed 277 square miles of sea known as the Gray Zone were traditionally fished by U.S. lobstermen. But as the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than nearly any other body of water on the planet, the area’s previously modest lobster population has surged. As a result, Canadians have begun to assert their sovereignty, warring with the Americans to claim the bounty.

    Directed...

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    Lecture: Chasing Ants (And Their Microbes) in the Rainforest

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Microbes play critical roles in the biology and health of human beings, but we are not the only species that benefits from intimate relationships with microbes. Ants, for instance, rely on the microbial communities living in their guts to process food and make strong armor.

    Corrie Moreau will discuss this unique aspect of ant biology and what it tells us about the diversity and dominance of ants in terrestrial ecosystems, the evolutionary history of social insects, and the broad-scale evolutionary patterns of life.

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    Lecture: Self-Domestication in Bonobos and Other Wild Animals

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Domesticated animals such as dogs, pigs, and horses often sport floppy ears, patches of white hair, and other features that are unknown in their wild ancestors. These traits—collectively referred to by scientists as a “domestication syndrome”—are the result of breeding less aggressive individuals.

    Drawing from his new book, The Goodness Paradox (2019, Pantheon Books), Richard Wrangham will show that our cousin apes, the bonobos, also exhibit a domestication syndrome, making them the first clear example of a “wild domesticate.” Self-domestication in the wild now seems...

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    Living with White Sharks

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge

    The Cape Cod white shark population has increased in recent years in response to the dramatic increase in the seal population. Shark sightings—some close to popular swimming and surfing beaches—are becoming more frequent and negative interactions between sharks and humans have become a real concern.

    Gregory Skomal has studied and tracked white sharks in the Atlantic for more than 30 years. In this lecture, he will examine the behavior, ecology, natural history, and population dynamics of this species, and how scientific research can help sharks and humans coexist in the Cape...

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    Conifers in Winter

    Location: 

    Bussey Street Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
    Docent Robbie Apfel leads this winter walk in an exploration of the Arboretum's conifer collection. Beginning from the Bussey Street Gate, you will be introduced to the Arboretum's grand gymnosperms, learn the botany of conifers, and hear about Hemlock Hill's evolving ecosystem. This tour will also introduce you to native and non-native conifers in the winter landscape.
     
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    Monthly Bird Walks Through the Winter

    Location: 

    Arborway Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
    Join Arnold Arboretum's Brendan Keegan for an easy walk looking for winter birds. In January, Brendan will discuss how species alter their behaviors, diets, and/or bodies to survive the colder temperatures. For his February walk that meets at the Bussey Street Gate, you will listen for, and discuss bird calls, and talk about owl mating season. The March walk on St. Patrick's Day will be a talk about breeding behaviors, the competitive reality of bird song, and include a check on Chickadee nesting tubes for signs of activity.

    All skill levels,...
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    Smartphone Photography: Winter Landscapes Enhanced

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Capture the essence of winter, when landscapes present a diluted palette of colors and contrasts are most striking. Professional photographer Nancy Katz will introduce fundamental concepts of landscape photography and then teach techniques for getting the best photographs from your smartphone camera. You will capture images in color and black and white, then learn to enhance them using a host of editing tools provided in the Snapseed App. (Note: Nancy Katz was...

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    Winter Wellness Walk

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Take a healthy walk through the cool landscape of the Arboretum with a docent. You will enjoy the pared down beauty of our woody plant collection and hear about the Arboretum's history and highlights. After the walk, warm up in the Visitor Center with hot chocolate or tea, and talk more with your docent guide and Arboretum staff members.

     

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    Nature Journal Workshop

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Join botanical artist, Regina Gardner Milan, in this Nature Journal Workshop. Participants, ages 8-12, will develop observational skills while learning a new awareness of their environment. Seed pods, pine cones, and other plant material will be available for observation and drawing. If weather permits, you will go on a short walk to collect more specimens. Milan will do demonstrations of drawing and documenting important details, and then you will try your own hand at creating a personal nature journal....

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    Landscape for Life

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    This intensive introductory course will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and understanding to create a great-looking garden that is healthier for you, your family, and the environment. This class is based on the principles of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, the nation’s first rating system for sustainable landscapes. The comprehensive curriculum covers a range of topics, including soils, water, plants, and landscape materials.
    Fee $185 member, $218 nonmember

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    What Nature Sounds Are Music?

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Bird song, whale song, bug song? Are these sounds really music? What of the whistle of the wind? David Rothenberg, author of three books, Why Birds Sing, Bug Music, and Survival of the Beautiful, will do his best to answer these questions and fuel further thinking about noise, communication, and song in nature. A composer and jazz clarinetist,...

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    Origins of the Green Revolution: Hybrid Seeds, Hunger, and Mexico-India Cooperation

    Location: 

    Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

    Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

    As a devastating famine gripped India and Pakistan in 1966, a cargo of hybrid wheat seeds from Mexico arrived one fateful day on India’s coast. The seeds were first planted across the Punjab region using new...

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