Friday, February 3, 6:45 pm – Invasive Plant Risks and Advantages with Climate and Land Use Change

The New England Botanical Club will hold its February meeting on February 3 with Dr. Jenica Allen, Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, discussing Invasive Plant Risks and Advantages with Climate and Land Use Chang.  Meeting will begin at 6:45 at Harvard University, in Haller Lecture Hall (Room 102), Geological Museum, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138  (door to right of Harvard Museum of Natural History entrance).  Free and open to the public.  For more information visit www.rhodora.org.


Sunday, January 29, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Hot Spot for Cool Creatures

The Southern Connecticut Valley is the foremost reptile and amphibian biodiversity hot spot in Massachusetts.  Join State Herpetologist Michael T. Jones on Sunday, January 29 at 2 pm for a presentation on these fascinating creatures.  The free talk will take place at the Quabbin Visitor Center on Ware Road in Belchertown at the Quabbin Reservoir, and all ages are welcome.  Please call 413-323-7221 for more information.


Tuesday, January 24, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Digital Photography: Capturing Botanic Images

The Massachusetts Horticultural Society welcomes Melissa Pace, garden educator, artist and photographer, to Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, on Tuesday, January 24 from 10 – 4 for a workshop on Digital Photography: Capturing Botanical Images.  Melissa will held you manage important elements of photography: line, texture, shape, space, and color.  Understanding how to use them will add “wow” to your garden photography.  The program is ideal for novice photographers as they use tablets, phones, and basic cameras.  $75 for Mass Hort members, $120 for nonmembers.  Register at www.masshort.org.


Sunday, January 29, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Gardening Simplified: Exceptional Plants and Design Solutions for Time-Pressed & Maturing Gardeners

Change happens. Job demands, kids, hectic schedules, aging bodies, and changing interests have led to gardens that are not in balance with our lifestyle. Time for some ‘editing’. This inspiring Kerry Ann Mendez free lecture at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston on Sunday, January 29 at 2 pm provides easy-to-follow right-sizing strategies, recommended no-fuss plant material, and design tips for stunning year-round gardens that will be as close to ‘autopilot’ as you can get… Co-sponsored with the New England Hosta Society. Please register at www.towerhillbg.org.

As an award-winning garden designer, author, and lecturer, Kerry Ann Mendez focuses on time-saving gardening techniques, workhorse plants and sustainable practices. She has been on HGTV and in numerous magazines including Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Gate and Better Homes & Gardens. Kerry Ann was awarded the 2014 Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for her horticultural accomplishments. She has published three popular gardening books – her most recent, The Right-Size Flower Garden (St. Lynn’s Press, 2015), focuses on exceptional plants and design solutions for busy and aging gardeners. For more about Kerry Ann visit www.pyours.com.


Tuesday, January 31, 7:00 pm – Future Humans

Come to a thought provoking talk and book signing on Tuesday, January 31 at 7 pm at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge. Are humans still subject to the forces of evolution? An evolutionary biologist provides surprising insights into the future of Homo sapiens.

In his intriguing book Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution, evolutionary biologist Scott Solomon draws on the explosion of discoveries in recent years to examine the future evolution of our species. Combining knowledge of our past with current trends, Solomon offers convincing evidence that evolutionary forces still affect us today. But how will modernization, including longer lifespans, changing diets, global travel, and widespread use of medicine and contraceptives, affect our evolutionary future?

Solomon presents an entertaining and accessible review of the latest research on human evolution in modern times, drawing on fields from genomics to medicine and the study of our microbiome. Surprising insights, on topics ranging from the rise of online dating and Cesarean sections to the spread of diseases such as HIV and Ebola, suggest that we are entering a new phase in human evolutionary history one that makes the future less predictable and more interesting than ever before.

Scott Solomon is an evolutionary biologist and science writer. He teaches ecology, evolutionary biology, and scientific communication at Rice University, where he is a Professor in the Practice in the Department of BioSciences.


Tuesdays, February 7 – March 21, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Residential Landscape Design

This New England Wild Flower Society multi-session course, appropriate for beginners, tackles the different aspects of the landscape design process. Workshop sessions will focus on design methods using site analysis techniques and schematic design tools. You will consult with the instructor and work on a project of your own choosing. Discussions about plants and habitat will be interspersed with lectures on design principles, including criteria for making plant choices and determining placement in the landscape. A list of required materials will be provided at the first class. Karen Sebastian leads the classes, which take place Tuesdays, February 7, 14, 21, 28, March 7, 14, and 21 from 6 – 8 at Garden in the Woods in Framingham. $215 for NEWFS members, $254 for nonmembers. Register online at www.newfs.org.  Image from www.bostondesignguide.com.


Saturday, January 28, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon – Skyfields Tracking Workshop

Learn to spot and interpret wildlife signs as you walk through the trails and woods around Skyfields with veteran tracker and naturalist Paul Wanta. Last year’s attendees saw signs of rabbits, deer, otter, wild turkeys, and a porcupine. The walk is free to Mount Grace members and $10 for the general public (pay at the event). The workshop is open to trackers of all ages and levels of skill. Paul Wanta, former teacher and naturalist at the Farm School in Athol, has been a tracker for 30 years. He and his wife Heather ran an educational non-profit, In This Place, in Wendell.

This year’s workshop at Skyfields Arboretum, 1461 Old Keene Rd., Athol, runs from 9-noon and is limited to 25 participants. http://www.mountgrace.org/skyfields-tracking-workshop-12817


Thursday, January 26, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon – Plants for Sun: Live Webinar

From bee balm to milkweeds, the New England flora includes outstanding plants that thrive in meadows, fields, and other open areas. Join Dan Jaffe of New England Wild Flower Society for a crash course on all things sun-loving. This webinar is part of our nine-part series “Natives for any Garden” which will focus exclusively on garden plants. Join our horticultural staff for suggestions on the best native plants for any garden condition. $10 for NEWFS members, $13 for nonmembers.  Register online at www.newfs.org. Image from US Forest Service.


Wednesday, January 25, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon – Rivers: Live Webinar

Rivers support an enormous variety of plants, both in and out of the water. Learn about the aquatic plants of rivers and the impressive array of plants that occupy—and stabilize—their shores. This webinar is part of New England Wild Flower Society’s five-part series “Plant Communities of New England” which will introduce you to some truly special New England habitats. Elizabeth Farnsworth, Senior Research Ecologist for New England Wild Flower Society will discuss the ecology and fascinating plant life of a distinctive New England landscape. A 15-minute Q&A period will follow each webinar. The event takes place Wednesday, January 25 from 11 – noon, and is $10 for NEWFS members, $13 for nonmembers. Register online at www.newfs.org.


Saturday, January 28, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm – All Out 2017

Join the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and REI on January 28th at Daisy Field in Olmsted Park from 10 am to 3 pm for All Out 2017. Activities include Navigation with Map and Compass, Hiking, Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, all free. Sign up in advance at www.emeraldnecklace.org.