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November 11, 2012

Preparing for Winter at Carderock

Audubon Naturalist Society

In April, woody plant instructors Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Elizabeth Rives led our Budbreak at Carderock foray. In this hike, they'll return to Carderock and the Billy Goat (B) Trail along the Potomac River to explore the woodlands as trees and shrubs let go of their last fall leaves, reveal their mature fruits, and set next year's buds in prep for winter dormancy. We'll examine and compare the fruits of many species, including hornbeam, hop-hornbeam, oaks, hickories, black walnut, American beech, sycamore, bladdernut, spice-bush and other woody plants. We'll get a jump on winter botany by looking closely at twigs, buds, and bark, using Elizabeth's TSI (tree scene investigation) techniques. Our hike will cover 1.5-2 miles of the towpath and parts of Billy Goat B, mostly at a leisurely naturalist's crawl. Some stretches will be rocky, moderately steep, and possibly muddy. Registration required.

Sunday, November 11 (9:30 am-12:30 pm)
Members $22; nonmembers $30

Please use the registration form.


November 10, 2012 - 9am-2pm

A Year at Boundary Bridge

Audubon Naturalist Society

Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Melanie Choukas-Bradley at Carderock
Photo by Sophie Choukas-Bradley

Join the author of City of Trees for our sixth year of hikes in one of Washington, DC's most beautiful wild areas. Starting at Boundary Bridge and following the same 2.5-mile loop trail each season, we'll explore the large trees, diverse shrubs, and exceptional wildflowers along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. We'll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. On our winter walk, an ideal time to admire the Park's topography, we'll look and listen for winter flocks and identify many species of woody plants. In April, we'll witness the spring magic of Rock Creek's myriad wildflowers. As summer arrives in the Park, we'll hope for a glimpse of a kingfisher as we look for ferns and early seasonal wildflowers such as enchanter's nightshade. Autumn is glorious in Rock Creek Park, and we'll conclude our series with a walk through colorful oaks, maples, and ashes, searching for the flowers of an early witch hazel in bloom. Our 2.5 mile circuit hike will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking. An ANS/Rock Creek Conservancy partnership.

Saturday (9am-2pm)
Members: $26; Nonmembers: $36

Registration required, please use registration form.


October 30, November 4

“This Green City" - Class, Tuesday Oct. 30, Capitol Field Trip, Sunday Nov. 4

[Event postponed until spring 2013 because of super-storm Sandy]

Politics and Prose Bookstore

On Tuesday, October 30, 7-9 p.m., join City of Trees author and natural history teacher Melanie Choukas-Bradley for a slide presentation about the arboreal history and botanic diversity of Washington, DC Melanie will share stunning visual images of the White House and Capitol grounds, Rock Creek Park, the National Arboretum, the Tidal Basin, Mount Vernon and many other storied landmarks in and around Washington, DC as she takes you on a historic tour of the “City of Trees.” Learn a secret side of political Washington: the love of trees that goes back to founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and has endured through the ages. Melanie will also teach the basics of tree identification using specimens of leaves and fruit, and she will give guidance for identifying Washington’s hundreds of native and international tree species.

On Sunday, November 4, meet in front of the United States Botanic Garden at 10:30 a.m. for a 2 ½ hour tour of the historic trees of the Capitol grounds. The lush and botanically diverse Capitol grounds were designed by the preeminent 19th century landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted—designer of New York City’s Central Park and many other North American landscapes—and they have been described as one of the world’s finest arboretums. We will explore the historic groves of the Capitol, admiring and learning about the trees that grace the grounds, including species from around the United States and the world. We will see giant sequoias, Kentucky coffee-trees, and numerous species of magnolia, oak, and maple. Many trees will be in peak autumn color. The national champion Jujube tree and several official state trees and memorial plantings will be highlighted.

Price: Price: $50 ($40 members)
To register: http://www.politics-prose.com/green-city-1

Date: Evening session at Politics & Prose, Tuesday, October 30, 7-9 p.m.
Tree tour of the Capitol grounds, Sunday, November 4, 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Suggested Reading: Book: City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, DC by Melanie Choukas-Bradley with illustrations by Polly Alexander.


October 26, 2012

Natural and Cultural History of the Agricultural Reserve

Audubon Naturalist Society

Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Stephanie Mason

Thirty two years ago, with regional farmland rapidly diminishing, Montgomery County had the foresight to set aside more than 90,000 acres of farms and open space in the western and northern third of the county as an "Agricultural Reserve." Come explore this scenic, biologically diverse area and learn how it contributes to clean air and water, the availability of fresh local produce, and the overall quality of life for residents of the metro area. Our trip will visit working farms, a fall produce and pumpkin stand, and several historical sites to experience the rich diversity of plants and wildlife that thrive in the Reserve's fields, meadows, wetlands, and rocky woodlands. We'll begin and end the tour in some of the beautiful parkland along its borders: Seneca Creek State Park and Dickerson Conservation Park, site of an American sycamore, officially the largest known tree in Maryland. Registration required. Please use the registration form.

Friday, October 26 (10 am-3 pm)
Members $27; nonmembers $3


October 20, 2012

Fall Tree Tour of Capitol Grounds

United States Botanic Garden

With Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees.

Autumn is a magnificent time to appreciate the architecture and colorful foliage of the historic trees that grace the U.S. Capitol Grounds. Meet in front of the Conservatory to stroll around the Capitol, admiring and learning about its grand old tree specimens from around the country and the world, including many official state trees and memorial plantings. Melanie Choukas-Bradley will focus on autumn fruits and leaves and teach how to identify diverse species of oak, maple, beech, buckeye and many other trees. Melanie will share history of the Capitol Grounds and the city of Washington. Binoculars optional, but recommended. Participants are encouraged to bring their own brown bag lunch to enjoy with Melanie after the tour!

Please note: This tour is held outdoors. We suggest bringing sunscreen, protective clothing and water. The tour is canceled if it rains.

Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Tour will meet in front of the USBG Conservatory entrance on the Terrace
FREE: Pre-registration required


September 22, 2011

Sugarloaf Mountain Autumn Equinox Hike

Audubon Naturalist Society

Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Tina Thieme Brown

Join the author and the illustrator of two books about Sugarloaf Mountain for an autumn equinox nature hike on Sugarloaf Mountain. We'll admire maturing fruits on oaks, hickories, black birch, witch-hazel and many other woody plants, and look for the first blush of color in the tupelo trees. Several species of wildflowers in the aster and mint families, plus great blue lobelia, should be blooming. We will hike for 1-1/2 miles at a slow pace, covering some steep sections of rocky trail. Depending on the whereabouts of flowering plants at the time of the hike, the leaders may create a car shuttle to cover more ground. Tina will give a field drawing demonstration and Melanie will describe the history and geology of Sugarloaf over lunch. Registration required. Please use the registration form.

Date: Saturday, September 22, 2012
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Members $27; Nonmembers $3


September 19 - November 14, 2012

Fall Woody Plant Identification Course, Natural History Field Studies

Offered by the Graduate School USA and the Audubon Naturalist Society

Instructor: Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees

The Natural History Field Studies Certificate Program is offered through Evening and Weekend Programs.

Fall Woody Plant Identification      
NATH1145E, 2 credits
Autumn's glory is created by colorful trees and shrubs, so fall is the ideal time to study techniques of woody plant field identification. Participants study the major woody plant families and species found in the Central Atlantic's forest communities. Field trips feature the use of recognition characteristics and botanical keys to identify many local woody plants. Students should have a 10x hand lens.

Class Night and Time: Wednesdays, 7-9:15 pm
Class meetings: September 19 - November 14
Field Trip Dates: September 29, October 13, November 3
Location: Woodend Sanctuary, MD
Tuition: $355
Instructor: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
To Register Online: please click here.

Required reading: Trees of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada by William M. Harlow
Required reading: The Sibley Guide to Trees by David Allen Sibley, 2010
Recommended reading: City of Trees by Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Polly Alexander, 3rd edition
Recommended reading: Woody Plants of Maryland by Russell G. Brown and Melvin L. Brown (limited availability)

You may apply for the certificate program online. For more information on certificate courses offered, please contact the certificate counselor at (202) 314-3349 or certificates@graduateschool.edu.



July 27, 2012

Morning Paddle on the Potomac

Audubon Naturalist Society

Friday, July 27 (9-11:30 am)
Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Stephanie Mason
Members: $18; non-members $25

Spend a summer morning paddling along the shoreline of the Potomac River looking for the blooms of the season: cardinal flower, monkey flower, vervains, mallows, false dragonweed, and many other colorful riparian wildflowers. We'll also hope to glimpse a soaring bald eagle, herons, turtles, dragonflies, butterflies and other wetland wildlife. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent either at Fletcher's boathouse, where we'll put our vessels into the River. Fee covers leadership only.

Registration required, please use registration form.


July 19, 2012

Trees of the Regional Garden

United States Botanic Garden

5:00pm to 7:00pm
Event Type: USBG Program or Event
Early registration ends on 05/16/2012.
Regular registration starts on 05/17/2012 and ends on 07/18/2012.
Late registration starts on 07/19/2012.
All times are 12:00am (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).
Tour: Trees of the Regional Garden
Melanie Choukas-Bradley, Author of City of Trees

Spend a summer evening learning to identify trees of the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont and Coastal Plain as you tour the Regional Garden. Melanie will teach you how to identify tupelo, hop-hornbeam, red buckeye, pawpaw, oaks, pines and many other native trees as you stroll the grounds of the National Garden. She will also share some of the arboreal history of Washington, DC, which has long been known as the “City of Trees,” and offer ideas for self-guided tree tours in and around the nation’s capital. Please note: This tour is held outdoors. We suggest bringing sunscreen, protective clothing and water. The tour is canceled if it rains or during times of extreme heat (heat index of 95 degrees or higher/Code Red weather alert). Code: TH071912 Date: Thursday, July 19 Time: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Location: National Garden Lawn Terrace FREE: Pre-registration required - visit www.usbg.gov.


July 3-24, 2012

Natural History Field Studies Program

Co-Sponsored by the Graduate School USA
and the Audubon Naturalist Society

Summer Wildflower Identification
NATH 1149E, 1 credit
Class dates: July 3-24
Tuesdays, 7-9:30 pm
Field Trip dates July 14 & 21. Optional kayaking field trip July 28.
Location Woodend Sanctuary, MD
Tuition $259
Instructor Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Register Online

From milkweeds and morning glories to orchids and asters, summer presents a diverse array of wildflowers for study of plant family characteristics and ways to identify different species. Field trips to two scenic locations for summer wildflowers provide an opportunity for practice in the use of identification guides. Previous Spring Flower Identification class or similar course is recommended but not required.

Melanie Choukas-Bradley is the author of three natural history books, including two botanical field guides, and she is a freelance contributor to The Washington Post. She leads many field trips for ANS. B.A., University of Vermont.
Required textbook: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb.
Recommended: An Illustrated Guide to Eastern Woodland Wildflowers and Trees: 350 Plants Observed at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland by Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Tina Thieme Brown. Instructor has loaner copies.
Recommended: Finding Wildflowers in the Washington-Baltimore Area by Cristol Fleming, Marion Blois Lobstein, Barbara Tufty.


June 16, 2012

© Susan A. Roth

A Year at Boundary Bridge

The Audubon Naturalist Society

Saturdays (9 am-2 pm)
Section C: June 16
Section D: November 10 - note date change

Section A: January 28
Section B: April 14
Leader Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Each walk: members $26; nonmembers $36; two walks: $48/$66; three walks: $66/$92

Join the author of City of Trees for our sixth year of hikes in one of Washington, DC's most beautiful wild areas. Starting at Boundary Bridge and following the same 2.5-mile loop trail each season, we'llexplore the large trees, diverse shrubs, and exceptional wildflowers along a scenic stretch of RockCreek. We'll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. On our winter walk,an ideal time to admire the Park's topography, we'll look and listen for winter flocks and identify many species of woody plants. In April, we'll witness the spring magic of Rock Creek's myriad wildflowers. As summer arrives in the Park, we'll hope for a glimpse of a kingfisher as we look for ferns and early seasonal wildflowers such as enchanter's nightshade. Autumn is glorious in Rock Creek Park, and we'll conclude our series with a walk through colorful oaks, maples, and ashes, searching for the flowers of an early witch hazel in bloom. Our 2.5 mile circuit hike will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking. An ANS/Rock Creek Conservancy partnership.


June 12, 2012, 1pm – 3pm

The Trees of DC

The State Arboretum of Virginia

Where: Blandy Experimental Farm (map)

Calendar: Blandy Public Programs

Created by: blandy1926@gmail.com

Description: Please come join us in the Blandy Library to hear Ms. Melanie Choukas-Bradley, the author of City of Trees and other books. She will present an illustrated talk on interesting and unusual trees in Washington, DC, and on some of the best locations in the DC area for viewing trees.


June 3, 2012, 10am - 1pm

Oaks of Sugarloaf Mountain

Maryland Native Plant Society

We will hike to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain at a leisurely pace. We will see and learn about several oak species, including chestnut,

red, black, white and blackjack. Mountain laurel and several early summer wildflowers will also be in bloom along the route.

Field Trip Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Online Registration is required. Please register by May 31st. Trip limited to 25 participants.

Directions: Meet at the West View parking



June 12, 2012, 1pm – 3pm

The Trees of DC

The State Arboretum of Virginia

Where: Blandy Experimental Farm (map)

Calendar: Blandy Public Programs

Created by: blandy1926@gmail.com

Description: Please come join us in the Blandy Library to hear Ms. Melanie Choukas-Bradley, the author of City of Trees and other books. She will present an illustrated talk on interesting and unusual trees in Washington, DC, and on some of the best locations in the DC area for viewing trees.

FOSA members $8, nonmembers $10 Please call 540-837-1758 to register for this program.


June 3, 2012, 10am - 1pm

Oaks of Sugarloaf Mountain

Maryland Native Plant Society

We will hike to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain at a leisurely pace. We will see and learn about several oak species, including chestnut, red, black, white and blackjack. Mountain laurel and several early summer wildflowers will also be in bloom along the route.

Field Trip Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Online Registration is required. Please register by May 31st. Trip limited to 25 participants.

Directions: Meet at the West View parking

 


May 30 and June 2, 2012

THIS GREEN CITY 

An evening discussion of DC’s arboreal history, followed by a Saturday morning tree walk on the Capitol grounds

Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Price: $50 ($40 members)

Dates: Wednesday, May 30, 7-9 p.m. at Politics & Prose

Saturday, June 2, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.: Meet in front of the U.S. Botanic Garden conservatory at the foot of Capitol Hill. More detailed instructions will be provided at the Wednesday night meeting.

Book: City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, DC, Melanie Choukas-Bradley with illustrations by Polly Alexander.

On Wednesday, May 30, 7-9 p.m., join City of Trees author and natural history teacher Melanie Choukas-Bradleyat Politics & Prose for a slide presentation about the arboreal history and botanic diversity of Washington, DC Melanie will share stunning visual images of the White House and Capitol grounds, Rock Creek Park, the National Arboretum, the Tidal Basin, Mount Vernon and many other storied landmarks in and around Washington, DC as she takes you on a historic tour of the “City of Trees.” Learn a secret side of political Washington: the love of trees that goes back to founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and has endured through the ages. Melanie will also teach the basics of tree identification and give guidance for identifying Washington’s hundreds of native and international tree species.

On Saturday, June 2, meet in front of the U. S. Botanic Garden at 10:30 a.m. for a 2 ½ hour tour of the historic trees of the Capitol grounds. The lush and botanically diverse Capitol grounds were designed by the preeminent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted—designer of New York City’s Central Park and many other North American landscapes—and they have been described as one of the world’s finest arboretums. We will explore the historic groves of the Capitol, admiring and learning about the trees that grace the grounds, including species from around the United States and the world. We will see giant sequoias, Kentucky coffee-trees, and many species of oak, maple and magnolia. The national champion Jujube tree and many official state trees and memorial plantings will be highlighted.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Melanie Choukas-Bradley is the author of three highly acclaimed natural history books, including City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, DC The Washington Post Book World called City of Trees: "…a splendid field guide—practical, botanically sound, and filled with good stories." Melanie leads tree tours and field trips for the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS), the Nature Conservancy, the U S Botanic Garden and Casey Trees and she teaches two courses for the Natural History Field Studies Program of the Graduate School USA and ANS. Melanie lectures widely and has been a guest on the Diane Rehm Show, the Kojo Nnamdi Show and All Things Considered. She is on the Board of the Maryland Native Plant Society and she serves on the Chevy Chase Tree Ordinance Board and the Advisory Committee of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance.


Saturday, May 19, 2012 (10am-3pm)

Spring Hike on Sugarloaf Mountain

Audubon Naturalist Society

Leaders  Melanie-Choukas Bradley and Tina Brown
Members $25; nonmembers $35

Join Sugarloaf author Melanie Choukas-Bradley and illustrator Tina Thieme Brown for an outing devoted to the botany, wildlife, geology, and history of Sugarloaf Mountain, a monadnock in the rural Piedmont northwest of Washington, DC The 1.5-2.5 mile hike, with some uphill and downhill on rocky terrain, is timed to coincide with the flowering of many woodland plants, including fringe-tree, Canada Mayflower, several violet species, and possibly one or more orchids. Bring binoculars to look for wood thrushes, worm-eating warblers, ravens, and other bird species. Tina will give a brief demonstration on illustrating plants in the field during our lunch break.

Registration required, please use registration form.


May 5, 2012, 10:00am - 1:00pm

Spring Tree Tour of the Capitol Grounds

U.S. Botanic Garden

Spend a May morning strolling under the venerable trees that grace the U.S. Capitol grounds with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees. We will explore the historic groves of the Capitol at the height of spring foliage and flower, admiring and learning about the trees that grace the grounds, including species from around the United States and the world. We hope to see magnolias, fringe-trees, buckeyes, horse-chestnuts and other flowering trees in bloom.

Regular registration starts on 02/16/2012 and ends on 05/05/2012.


April 27, 2012 - 10:30am-1:00pm

Celebrate Arbor Day!

U.S. Botanic Garden

Description:
Lecture and Tour Celebrate Arbor Day! Melanie Choukas-Bradley, Author of City of Trees Celebrate Arbor Day in the “City of Trees” with a slide presentation followed by a stroll through the National Garden’s Regional Garden. Join the author of City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, DC for an illustrated presentation on the history and botanic diversity of the capital city’s world-renowned trees. Author and teacher Melanie Choukas-Bradley will highlight Washington’s trees from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson’s time to the present day. Special attention will be given to the Capital’s original 100 Japanese Flowering Cherries on the 100th anniversary of their planting. Learn how Washington came to be known as the “City of Trees” and why our historic canopy is more essential than ever in the 21st century. You’ll see stunning visual images of trees through the seasons at the Capitol, White House, National Arboretum, Mount Vernon, Tidal Basin and other storied locations.

Following the talk, Melanie leads participants on a tour of the Regional Garden, where trees and shrubs native to the Mid-Atlantic Piedmont and Coastal Plain will be in full spring leaf and flower. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after the garden tour. Melanie will be available during lunch to answer tree questions.

Please note: The tour portion of this program is held outdoors. We suggest bringing sunscreen, protective clothing and water. The tour portion is canceled if it rains or during times of extreme heat (heat index of 95 degrees or higher/Code Red weather alert). Code: TH042712 Date: Friday, April 27 Time: 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Location: Conservatory Classroom and National Garden FREE: Pre-registration required: Visit www.usbg.gov.

Early registration ends on 02/15/2012.
Regular registration starts on 02/16/2012 and ends on 04/27/2012.
Late registration starts on 04/27/2012.
All times are 12:00am (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).


Sunday, April 15, 9:30am – 12:30pm

Budbreak at Carderock

Audubon Naturalist Society

Where: Carderock (C&O Canal)

Leaders: Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Elizabeth Rives

Description: Join us for a walk devoted to the identification and admiration of native trees and shrubs as their buds break and their leaves and flowers emerge.

Members $21; nonmembers $28.

ANShome.org/activities


April 14, 2012 - 9am-2pm

Melanie Choukas-Bradley at Carderock
Photo by Sophie Choukas-Bradley

A Year at Boundary Bridge

Audubon Naturalist Society

Section B: April 14
Section C: June 16
Section D: October 27
Each walk: members $26; nonmembers $36; two walks: $48/$66; three walks: $66/$92; all four walks: $88/$124

Leader Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Join the author of City of Trees for our sixth year of hikes in one of Washington, DC’s most beautiful wild areas. Starting at Boundary Bridge and following the same 2.5 mile loop trail each season, we’ll explore the large trees, diverse shrubs, and exceptional wildflowers along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. We’ll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. On our winter walk, an ideal time to admire the Park’s topography, we’ll look and listen for winter flocks and identify many species of woody plants. In April, we’ll witness the spring magic of Rock Creek’s myriad wildflowers. As summer arrives in the Park, we’ll hope for a glimpse of a kingfisher as we look for ferns and early seasonal wildflowers such as enchanter’s nightshade. Autumn is glorious in Rock Creek Park, and we’ll conclude our series with a walk through colorful oaks, maples, and ashes, searching for the flowers of an early witch hazel in bloom. Our 2.5 mile circuit hike will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking.

Members: $26; Nonmembers: $36

Registration required. Please use the registration form.


March 31, 2012

Lahr Native Plant Symposium

U.S. National Arboretum

Date: Saturday, March 31, 2012
Time: 9:40 AM

Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees and two books about Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland will talk about how the native plants of the Washington area changed her life. Arriving in the DC area as a young journalist more than 30 years ago, she was instantly struck by the magnificence of the city’s trees. She has spent her professional life documenting the woody and herbaceous plants of the Washington region in her books and Washington Post articles. She will share beautiful slides of Washington’s native trees and wildflowers through the seasons and describe her journey as an author and teacher devoted to educating people about the unique botanic legacy of the nation’s capital and its surroundings.

Registration required - please click here for more information.



March 10, 2012

Casey Trees Event www.caseytrees.org

Melanie Choukas-Bradley at Carderock
Photo by Sophie Choukas-Bradley

Date: Saturday, March 10, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tree Walk: Winter ID - Trees in Transition
Rock Creek Trail at Beach Drive

Led by Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of City of Trees

Come push the limits with Melanie Choukas-Bradley (author of City of Trees) as we take a late winter hike in the Boundary Bridge area of Rock Creek Park on the Maryland/DC line. We will visit the many native trees that are readily identifiable in winter – sycamores, river birches, tulip-trees and box-elders, for instance – plus some head scratchers that put identification skills to the test. And if we're lucky, some signs of spring emergence will help us along the wa


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Audubon Naturalist Society Event

Winter Woods of Sugarloaf
Sunday, March 4 (12:30-4:30 pm)
Leaders Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Tina Brown
Members $24; nonmembers $33

Explore the winter woods of Sugarloaf Mountain with the co-authors/illustrators of two books on this monadnock’s natural and cultural history. We’ll hike from 1-3 miles, depending on trail and weather conditions, stopping to identify woody plants along the way, including oak species, heath family members, and the summit’s noteworthy table mountain pines. We’ll keep an eye out for seasonal birds, including chickadees, kinglets, woodpeckers, and even tundra swans. Melanie will talk about the mountain’s history and geology. Tina will share tips on gathering field information for your art/nature journal. Our hike will include some uphill/downhill walking and, depending on trail conditions, a fairly steep ¼ mile hike up to the summit - all at a slow pace.

Registration required, please use registration form


February 25, 2012

United States Botanic Garden Event

Winter Tree Tour of the Capitol Grounds

Melanie Choukas-Bradley, Author of City of Trees

Winter is the best time to appreciate the architecture of the historic trees gracing the U.S. Capitol grounds. Meet on the Terrace in front of the entrance to the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory and stroll around the Capitol with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, admiring and learning about its magnificent trees from around the country and the world. Learn to identify Kentucky coffee-trees, Japanese pagoda trees, beeches, magnolias and dogwoods during winter. Melanie will focus on the bark, buds and overall growth habits of grand old trees, including many official state trees and memorial plantings. Giant sequoias and a massive willow oak are among the trees on the tour. Melanie will share history of the Capitol grounds and the city of Washington throughout the tour.

Code: TH022512

Date: Saturday, February 25

Time: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Conservatory Terrace

FREE: Pre-registration required: Visit www.usbg.go


January 28, 2012 - 9am-2pm

A Year at Boundary Bridge, Audubon Naturalist Society


© Susan A. Roth

Section A: January 28
Section B: April 14
Section C: June 16
Section D: October 27
Each walk: members $26; nonmembers $36; two walks: $48/$66; three walks: $66/$92; all four walks: $88/$124

Leader Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Join the author of City of Trees for our sixth year of hikes in one of Washington, DC’s most beautiful wild areas. Starting at Boundary Bridge and following the same 2.5 mile loop trail each season, we’ll explore the large trees, diverse shrubs, and exceptional wildflowers along a scenic stretch of Rock Creek. We’ll also see and hear many species of birds, butterflies, and amphibians. On our winter walk, an ideal time to admire the Park’s topography, we’ll look and listen for winter flocks and identify many species of woody plants. In April, we’ll witness the spring magic of Rock Creek’s myriad wildflowers. As summer arrives in the Park, we’ll hope for a glimpse of a kingfisher as we look for ferns and early seasonal wildflowers such as enchanter’s nightshade. Autumn is glorious in Rock Creek Park, and we’ll conclude our series with a walk through colorful oaks, maples, and ashes, searching for the flowers of an early witch hazel in bloom. Our 2.5 mile circuit hike will be on trails with moderate uphill and downhill walking.

Members: $26; Nonmembers: $36

Registration required. Please use the registration form.Saturday, February 25, 2012


Nature photographs by Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Polly Alexander.

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