Friday, August 24, 2012

In the Gallery...

Join us in welcoming some vary talented New Hampshire artists showcase their interpretation of the transformation of a forest. A forest is a divine work of art in and of itself.  Through the eyes of an artist it is transformed into another immortal work of art.

"It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become"


Chakra Banner by Angie Follensbee-Hall
Angie Follensbee-Hall  of Paper Glade brings her inspirational handmade paper wall sculptures.  Angie's work invokes a meditative quality, reflecting upon the world of myth and nature, suggesting a connection between all beings at their source.

Carolyn Kemp of Word Weavers Ink brings her birch bark vessels, jewelry, baskets and nature inspired watercolor paintings.
"The woven basket is a vessel that carries the sustenance of life forward. In its creation the weaver experiences a timeless unity of form, function, and culture with all the splendor of limitless patterning, color, textures and design. "

Birdie Britton of Waterville Valley brings to us her whimsical twig sculptures inspired by old snags. To Birdie "Trees matter. They root deeply in the earth and reach their limbs to the sky and move with the wind. They link branches with their neighbors or stand alone. They have histories and personalities, proclivities and idiosyncrasies. In short, trees possess character. There's something there you can get to know and perhaps love. Doesn't everyone have a favorite tree?"

Horse Blue by Birdie Britton

Annette Mitchell and Maryellen Sakura both bring their inspirational printmaking skills showcasing their talents in solar printing and Annette's famous foam printing.

Cheryl Johnson's watercolor paintings of old wooden structures tell the story of their long history in the details of her work.

Suncatcher by Cheryl Johnson

This show is truly inspirational! 
Show dates: September 8 - October 27, 2012
Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Saturday 10:00 - 5:00pm
Gallery Reception: Saturday October 6, 2012 6:30pm - 8:30pm  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Curious George Enjoyed Another Visit to Waterville Valley

The Margret and H.A. Rey Center’s sixth annual Curious George Cottage Family Festival, held on August 11-12, delighted over 360 Curious George fans with a weekend of family fun. Children and their parents were treated to live music, storytelling, rocket launching, planetarium shows, nature walks, games, meals with the characters, a petting zoo and more!
Toe Jam Puppet Band recruits a few
young fans to help with this song!

This year’s headlining performers, Toe Jam Puppet Band, had all ages dancing dosie-does, doing the limbo, squealing with glee when getting sprayed with water during the Car Wash song, and generally having an all around great time. Curious George and the man with the yellow hat even found some time to dance to the original tunes of the Toe Jam Puppet Band. 

Take Two Tandem Tellers
Also performing on the Festival stage were Take Two Tandem Tellers, featuring Anne Marie Forer and Cindy Killavey. This storytelling duo presented lively and interactive programs filled with music, merriment and madness. 

Spin, Pop and Boom by Mad Science

Back once again this year was a fascinating and educational performance by Mad Science with their show Spin, Pop and Boom, which lived up to its name as this show was exploding with excitement!

Other activities over the weekend included banana pancake breakfasts at the Snowy Owl Inn; a BBQ lunch with Curious George by the WV Conference Center; a spaghetti dinner with Curious George by Klaudt Catering; Curious George themed games provided by the Waterville Valley Recreation Department; drawing of Curious Characters by local artists Birdie Britton, Maryellen Sakura, Gerri, Denise Siraco and Ken Vallery; rocket launching by Phil Chouinard; a community Eco Art project by artist Cynthia Robinson; a showing of One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure in a portable planetarium by University of NH Department of Earth, Oceans and Space; a banana eating contest; nature walks and nature discovery stations; story time and cartoon viewing; and a reading of It’s Good to Be Me by photographer and author Liz McNeil Jenkins and owner of the canine stars of the book, Margaret Turner. 
Playing games with the
Waterville Valley Recreation Department

Local artist Maryellen Sakura
draws Curious Characters

Curious George poses with a few friends!

Rocketman Phil Chouinard launching rockets for the crowd
Time! The 7-12 year olds finish their
banana eating contest.
Banana Eating Contest
6 & Under Group
Doing the limbo with Toe Jam Puppet Band
and Curious George
Toe Jam Puppet Band
and their new biggest fans!
Musician Maggie Peak poses with
Curious George and his entourage
after her performance at the
Banana Pancake Breakfast.
Curious George visits with fans
at the Rey Center

Volunteer Sophie helps kids make
newspaper boats like George does in
Curious George Rides a Bike

This fundraising event for the Margret and H.A. Rey Center would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors and partners, and the amazing effort of all of our volunteers. Please thank the following businesses and people for helping to make possible this fun and educational family weekend celebrating Curious George and Waterville Valley.

GOLD LEVEL SPONSORS ($1,000 and up): Roper Real Estate and Waterville Valley Foundation.

SILVER LEVEL SPONSORS ($500 and up): Parenting New Hampshire Magazine, Golden Eagle Lodge, Waterville Valley Realty, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Riveredge Marina, Louis Karno and Company, ABODE Homebuilders, and Waterville Valley Ski Resort.

BRONZE LEVEL SPONSORS (Up to $499): Bierbrier Development Inc., Black Bear Lodge, Blue Moon CafĂ©, Bookmonger, Coffee Emporium, Common Man Family of Restaurants, Community Guaranty Savings Bank, Dreams and Visions, Eco Art a la Carte, FunSpot, I Dream of Beading, Legend’s 1291 Sport’s Bar, Mad River Coffee Roasters, Mad Science of N. MA & S. NH, McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Mount Washington Observatory, Saenger Consulting, Inc., Snowy Owl Inn, Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, The Waterville Company, Toad Hall Toys, Town Square Condos, Town of Waterville Valley, The Valley Inn, University of New Hampshire Department of Earth, Oceans and Space, Wal-Mart of Plymouth, Waterville Valley Conference Center, Waterville Valley Department of Public Safety, Waterville Valley Golf Course, Waterville Valley Recreation Department, Waterville Valley Resort Association, and Willey’s Wildlife Photography.

Thank you to all who helped to make this weekend great! Mark your calendars for next year’s Curious George Cottage Family Festival on August 10-11, 2013 and until then – STAY CURIOUS!

See more photos on our Facebook page:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cool Hawks and Big Rocks

The Rey Center's last Friday Family Hike was hoppin'!  Seriously, there were frogs and toads everywhere.  At first they were cool and exciting and we stopped to take pictures . . . 
. . . but after the first couple dozen they just became part of the scenery.

Anyway, Leigh Ann and I led a small group up to Goodrich Rock, where we ate our lunches and watched four hawks circling the valley below us, though these proved surprisingly difficult to photograph.  Goodrich Rock is located about 2 miles from the Livermore Road trailhead and finishes with a wooden ladder that brings hikers to the top of a giant boulder that rises above the surrounding trees and offers dramatic views of Waterville Valley and all the surrounding mountains.

The first 1.2 miles is flat and largely runs parallel to a large stream, and then veers off up the side of a mountain until you emerge in a forest full of giant boulders.
These Glacial Erratics are giant stones pushed south by glaciers that got deposited over whatever they were above as the last Ice Age ended.  The trail winds under, around, and, at one point, through these colossal rocks until the final epic overlook.

After a long hike up and back, the group stopped and cooled our feet in the stream and, by this point, thoroughly enjoyed the ice cold water.

If you're interested in joining us on a future Friday Family Hike, check with the Rey Center schedule for specifics for that week, but they typically leave from the Curious George Cottage at 10AM.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Learning about Ledges

If you're looking to escape the heat this weekend by hiking in the White Mountains, I would recommend the Welch-Dickey Trail in Thornton, NH, where you'll probably meet one of the Rey Center's Welch Ledge Stewards.  Halfway up Welch Mountain is a unique example of high alpine vegetation found 2-3,000 ft lower in elevation than usual because of the exposed rock and harsh local climate, and our Stewards are there to educate visitors about the habitat and how to appreciate it without damaging these very fragile ecosystems.

In addition to the Stewardship program, the Rey Center is also organizing a census of each habitat island and measuring species composition and dominance, and our second field day was this Wednesday.  Look, that's me doing science!

Also on hand was Kim from the Rey Center and our high school assistant Haley, who learned more than she ever thought there was to know about lichen (for example, that they're a symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae).  Each plot was measured and divided into approximately equal parts, and in each part we conducted a species inventory and estimated each species' relative dominance.  If we do this for an extended period of time, we will hopefully be able to get a better understanding of how these communities are changing over time and what effect human intervention is having.

If you have more specific questions about what our research is showing, come track me down tomorrow between 9:30 and 2:30, I'll be hanging out about 1.3 miles from the trailhead looking for people to talk to.  If you want more information about the Stewardship program or when our next Citizen Science hike is going to be, check out the Rey Center's schedule of events.  Hope to see you up there!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy Friday Rey Blog readers!

Greg here to keep you up to date on where we've been and what we've been up to this week.  This post will be about our Tuesday research hike on Mt Starr King in Jefferson, NH, and I'll be writing a few more posts about other trips into the field over the next day or two.

On Tuesday July 31st, Kim from the Rey Center and I met up with Plymouth State University Professor Michele Pruyn, undergrad researcher Leighton, and high school volunteer Haley to hike Mt Starr King and collect information about almost 30 trees spread out along the trail to its summit.  Grad students and volunteers have been observing the development of these trees every spring and fall for several years, but we were there this week to get measurements of what they're like at their peak.
Each tree was flagged so they were mostly easy to find, except for one spruce that shall remain nameless, and we developed a good rhythm after the first couple of trees.  Haley and I would measure how big each trunk was, use a inclinometer to measure its height, and estimate its canopy density while Professor Pruyn and Leighton measured the canopy area and gave the tree a health assessment.  To the untrained eye it might have looked like a bunch of people yelling random numbers at Kim with the clipboard, but trust me, there was a system.  We had to call off our hike four trees short of the summit, possibly because it was getting late, and possibly because we got a bit distracted by the other interesting plants along the way, including these flowering Indian Pipes, a very strange non-photosynthetic plant:  
Even though we came up just short of the summit, we all finished the day tired but proud that we had contributed our part to what will hopefully turn into a very long term monitoring program.

And lastly, because people have been bugging me about this, the picture of the Rey Center in our banana costumes in the 4th of July parade: