Events

Upcoming Events and News for Kevin

On the 3rd Saturday of most months, I do a family nature walk at Mass Audubon’s Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, starting time is 10 am.

November 18, 2017  10 – 11:30 am Nature’s Harvest
This is the Third Saturday series program for May. We will observe the harvest season as it would exist for the animals of the forest. What do they feast on at this time of year and how are they preparing for the winter? This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

Past Events

October 21, 2017  10 am – 2pm. Nature Festival at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden
Come celebrate fall with nature activities, crafts, and nature walks. The feature of the day is Tom Riccardi with his birds of prey. This event is free and open to the public.

October 14, 2017  9 am – noon. Neff Trail Hike at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden
Enjoy the late-summer weather and take an extended hike into the Neff preserve area. The hike is several miles over reasonably level trails. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

September 23, 2017  Photography on Exhibit
I will have a few photographs on display at the Monson House of Art during a one day “pop-up” show, “For the Birds”.

September 17, 24  2017  1-4 pm. Intro to Digital Photography at Laughing Brook
Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

Get ready tp photograph the fall foliage. We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

July – August 2017
I am pretty busy teaching photo camps, astronomy, nature, and science for Mass Audubon, Westfield State University, and the Springfield Science Museum. After that, a trip to observe the solar eclipse!

June 6, 2017  6 – 8:30 pm  Macro Photography Workshop
Held at the Hitchcock Free Academy in Brimfield.  Registration information at http://www.hitchcockacademy.org/course-registration/ or 413-245-9977
This is a one-time workshop to introduce some of the equipment and techniques needed or close-up photography. Participants should bring a camera. The session will include a chance to photograph a few example subjects with an emphasis on flowers and other plants.

June 4, 11 2017  1-4 pm. Intro to Digital Photography at Laughing Brook
Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

Learn the basics of nature photography just in time to photograph the joys of summer. We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

June 3, 2017 9-11 am. Nature Photography Workshop at Applewood Orchard Arboretum
Come look at the natural world through a new lens at our outdoor photography workshop. All types of cameras are welcome, even iPhones! Enjoy the fresh air, and learn how to capture the perfect shot at the picturesque Applewood Orchard Arboretum in Amherst. Workshop Leader Kevin Kopchynski will guide you through the ins and outs of outdoor photography techniques and share his love and knowledge of the natural world.
Space is limited to 15 participants.  Cost: $5-10 per person (sliding scale) Rain date: Saturday, June 10.  Register with the Kestrel Landtrust at http://www.kestreltrust.org/calendar/nature-photography-workshop-2017/

May 20, 2017  10 – 11:30 am  Frogs at Laughing Brook
This is the Third Saturday series program for May. We will search the pond for frogs and perhaps head into the woods looking for wood frogs near the vernal pond. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

May 20, 2017  7 – 8:30 am  Early-Morning Birding at Laughing Brook
Sharpen your bird identification skills during the spring migration season. This is a great opportunity to see and learn about the many birds that pass through our area at this time. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Dress for the weather and be prepared for insects. Heavy rain cancels. Open to birders of all levels, registration required. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

May 13, 2017  8 – 10 am  Bird Walk at Lunden Pond, Peaked Mountain Preserve
We will spend a spring morning roaming the trails looking and listening for birds. Spring migration is underway and breeding season has started for many birds, so it should be an active morning. Meet at the parking lot for the Miller Forest tract. Rain date is May 27 at 8.

May 6, 2017  10 am – 1 pm  Wilbraham Cedar Swamp
Visit a unique habitat in western Massachusetts. The  cedar swamp, located in Wilbraham, is the largest example of an inland Atlantic White Cedar swamp in Massachusetts. Among rare animals known to use this habitat is the Hessel’s Hairstreak butterfly, last sighted in this area in the 1960s. Atlantic White Cedar swamps are dependent on catastrophic disturbance to clear the area and alllow the young trees to grow. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

April 29, 2017, 12 noon to 4pm  Astronomy Day
Back at the Springfield Science Museum this time for Astronomy Day. There will be several special exhibits including my colleague Jack Megas with his meteorite collection. I will be outside with a filtered telescope looking at sunspots or inside doing telescope demonstrations depending on the sky.

April 25, May 2, 16, 23, 2017   7 – 9 pm. Photo Basics
Held at the Hitchcock Free Academy in Brimfield.  Registration information at http://www.hitchcockacademy.org/course-registration/ or 413-245-9977
Understand exposure, settings, camera features and learn why a photo came out the way it did to analyze how to repeat a success or avoid a disaster. We will learn about the basics of focus and exposure and move on to consider light and composition. Along the way we will look at your photos to see what is going well and what needs improvement.

April 23, 30, 2017  1-4 pm. Intro to Digital Photography at Laughing Brook
Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

Learn the basics of nature photography just in time to photograph the blossoming spring season. We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. Both digital and film users can benefit from this instruction, though when discussing equipment we will concentrate on digital photography and the special opportunities and challenges it offers. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

April 22, 2017  5 – 6:30pm  Perspectives: Land, Streams, and Photos
Registration information at http://www.hitchcockacademy.org/course-registration/ or 413-245-9977
I am teaming up with Hitchcock Free Academy and the Opacum Land Trust to highlight a property that Opacum is working to preserve. We will be guided to features of the property by Opacum’s Executive Director Ed Hood. Along the way I will help you to capture photos highlighting the property. You have the option of entering your photos in a contest to win an Opacum Trust t-shirt, and your photos will help bring awareness to this property

April 15, 2017  10 – 11:30am  Vernal Pools at Laughing Brook
Vernal pools are unique and critical habitats that are breeding grounds for many state-listed amphibian species. April is the best, and often the only time, to see animals such as spotted salamanders and wood frogs. Join naturalist Kevin Kopchynski to explore a vernal pool, looking for egg masses, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. Learn why it’s so crucial to protect these small bodies of water and what you can do to help ensure their protection. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

April 11, 2017  6 – 8 pm  Topics in Modern Astronomy at the Springfield Science Museum
https://springfieldmuseums.org/ or 413-263-6800, ext 377 or 382 to register
Reports abound with news about water on Mars, earth-like planets at other stars, dark matter, and more. In the planetarium, we’ll have a brief look at the current night sky, learn about these fascinating topics and cover some basics about light and the methods that astronomers use to probe the vast distances of the universe. The class is designed for those interested in astronomy but no strong or recent background in science required.

April 4, 2017  6 – 8 pm  Intro to Stargazing and Skywatching at the Springfield Science Museum
https://springfieldmuseums.org/ or 413-263-6800, ext 377 or 382 to register
Look at the stars, constellations and planets visible in the night sky and learn how to follow the seasonal patterns of the earth in its orbit around the sun. Explore both the science and mythology of the heavens as we consider objects such as nebulae, white dwarfs, black holes, and planets around other stars. We will also take a look at a couple of telescopes, resources for computers and personal devices. This is a program of the Springfield Museum School.

March 18, 2017  10 – 11:30am  Spring at Laughing Brook
According to the calendar, spring is just a few days away. However, the observant outdoor nature detective has likely noticed evidence of the new season for weeks. By this time of year, early arriving species such as red-winged blackbirds and turkey vultures have returned to our area. Join us as we look for other harbingers of spring, such as skunk cabbage poking its leaves from beneath the snow or soil (and warming the surrounding ground); spring insects such as lightening bugs; and perhaps even early frogs. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

March 13, 2017  6 – 8:30 pm  Macro Photography Workshop
Held at the Hitchcock Free Academy in Brimfield.  Registration information at http://www.hitchcockacademy.org/course-registration/ or 413-245-9977
The day was changed to accommodate make-up sessions for the photo class. This is a one-time workshop to introduce some of the equipment and techniques needed or close-up photography. Participants should bring a camera. The session will include a chance to photograph a few example subjects.

March 6 – May 28, 2017  Photography on Exhibit
I will have a few photographs on display at the Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.

February 25, 2017 7-9pm  Life Underground   Presented at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary
Register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.
I will be presenting my Life Underground program for Arcadia. See the program page for a full description.

February 18, 2017 10-11:30am  Tracking and Animal Signs at Laughing Brook.
Tracking is more than simply finding a trail and following it, and prints aren’t always necessary to track an animal. The forest is full of signs that tell us about the wildlife within. Learn to read the tracks and signs left by animals that live in our area. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

February 4, 2017, 10am – 12:30pm  Space Odyssey  A class for ages 8-11
Springfield Science Museum, https://springfieldmuseums.org/ or 413-263-6800, ext 377 or 382 to register
Have you ever dreamed of exploring deep space? Learn how to use your own star chart as you navigate your way around the night sky. Your understanding of the cosmos will expand to encompass supernovas, star types, constellations, nebulae, new solar systems and black holes! Learn how and why telescopes work.

January 24, 31, February 7, 14  7-9pm   Basic Photography – New Camera to New Seasons
Held at the Hitchcock Free Academy in Brimfield.  Registration information at http://www.hitchcockacademy.org/course-registration/
New camera this holiday? Learn which features are most important to come away with quality memorable images. (4 classes).

January 21, 2017 10-11:30am  Tracking and Animal Signs at Laughing Brook.
Tracking is more than simply finding a trail and following it, and prints aren’t always necessary to track an animal. The forest is full of signs that tell us about the wildlife within. Learn to read the tracks and signs left by animals that live in our area. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

November 5, 2016  7-9pm  The Night Sky at Laughing Brook
Get a preview of the constellations you will see if you go out to observe the Leonid meteors later this month. We’ll also get telescopic views of Mars and a crescent Moon. The light-dark boundary on the moon is where sunrise is occurring and often  yields impressive views of craters and mountains. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

October 2, 2016  1:30 – 3pm  Nature Hike at the Keep Museum
While it is renowned for its button collection, Myra Keep, along with her father, also had a strong interest in natural history and there is a room in the museum with their collection of rocks and shells. The property has a trail system of under 2 miles that passes through both field and forest habitat. I will lead a walk on these trails, looking for signs of the season, identifying some of the local plants, as well as looking for examples of how the land tells us stories of both recent and long ago history. In the event of rain I will give a presentation of nature photography from the greater Monson area.
The Keep Museum is located at 35 Ely Road in Monson. http://keephomesteadmuseum.org/index.html

September 18, 25, 2016, 1-4 pm. Intro to Digital Photography at Laughing Brook
Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

Learn the basics of nature photography just in time to photograph the beautiful autumn colors.  We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. Both digital and film users can benefit from this instruction, though when discussing equipment we will concentrate on digital photography and the special opportunities and challenges it offers. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

June 25, 2016  9am  Birds at Peaked Mountain
I enjoy the Trustees properties at Peaked Mountain in Monson, and every year I try to do a volunteer guest program to help their cause and express my appreciation. This year we will be exploring the area around Lunden Pond looking and listening for birds.

May 21, 2016  7am   Birds at Laughing Brook
I will be making a guest appearance with my friend and Audubon colleague Patti Steinman to find birds returning from the south and beginning their mating season. This will be followed by my usual 10 am third Saturday family nature walk.

May 14, 2016, 12 noon to 4pm  Astronomy Day
Back at the Springfield Science Museum this time for Astronomy Day. There will be several special exhibits including my colleague Jack Megas with his meteorite collection. I will be outside with a filtered telescope looking at sunspots or inside doing telescope demonstrations depending on the sky.

May 9, 2016 10am  Transit of Mercury
I will be at the Springfield Science Museum, where I am on the planetarium staff, with other staff members and members of the Springfield Stars Club who will have telescopes for viewing the event.

April 24 2016, 9am Field trip for the Naturalist’s Club
Please go to the blog for details.

February 23, March 1, 8, 15  2016  6:30-8:30 pm. Photo Basics
Held at the Hitchcock Free Academy in Brimfield.  Registration information at http://www.hitchcockacademy.org/course-registration/

A new venue for me and I’m looking forward to it! Understand exposure, settings, camera features and learn why a photo came out the way it did to analyze how to repeat a success or avoid a disaster. We will learn about the basics of focus and exposure and move on to consider light and composition. Along the way we will look at your photos to see what is going well and what needs improvement.

January 28, February 4, 11, 18 2016  6-8 pm. Digital Photo Editing: Alternatives to Big $$ Software. Bring Your Own Laptop.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software or inexpensive software. We will also cover Lightroom, which is a good buy for the power it has. We will have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. Most of the software is available for Windows and Mac. Your instructor has supported both professionally. This session is meant for people to bring their own laptop, there will be no lab computers available. Demo versions of the programs are available and you can load them on your laptop prior to class.  People without laptops are welcome to register, get the handouts, and take notes if they wish.

January 8, 19, 26, 30, February 2, 9 2016  6-8 pm.  Basics of Digital Photography.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Just got a digital camera recently? Or perhaps you have one, and you want to expand your skills by moving off of the Auto or P setting. We’ll start by reviewing the basics so you have a firm foundation. The deeper the foundation, the higher you can build your skills. We will cover the basics of exposure and focus. This will allow you to get good photos in situations where the automatic settings do not work well. Then we will move to considering composition and the quality of light in your photos. We will spend time each session looking at your photos to fix problems and build on your successes. This will move you to the level where YOU are taking the picture, not the camera. Point and shoot or DSLR cameras are welcome for this class. Notes for each session will be provided. 5 sessions, 2 hours each

November 5, 12, 19, December 10, 2015  6-8 pm. Digital Photo Editing Intermediate Level-Bring Your Own Laptop

Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

In this session, we will look at the why of making an edit as well as the how. We’ll review some of the basic tools and get into the advanced ones as we learn to analyze a photo and determine what it needs and what we want to achieve with it. The class will concentrate on Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, and Gimp. Gimp is a free tool available for Mac or Windows. Your instructor is a former network administrator and has professionally supported both platforms. Both types of laptop are welcome in the class.

October 7, 2015, 6 – 8 pm. Intro to Stargazing & Skywatching
Springfield Science Museum, Springfield, MA

Join us for a look at stars, constellations and planets visible in the night sky. Learn how to follow the seasonal patterns of the earth in its orbit around the sun and how seasonal associations help to remember and understand the sky. Explore both the science and mythology of the heavens as we consider objects such as nebulae, white dwarfs, black holes, and planets around other stars. We will also take a look at a couple of telescopes, resources for computers and personal devices. This class is intended for adults. An astronomy class for kids will be held on October 24 at 10 am.

October 4, 2015, 1 – 4 pm. Hiking the Neff Trail at Laughing Brook
Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

Come enjoy the fall season by exploring  the Neff Trail at Laughing Brook. We’ll walk a total of 3 miles through mixed deciduous forest as well as a spectacular hemlock grove. On the way, we’ll discuss the history of the area as can be seen from stone walls and trees. We will also look for signs of wildlife. This is a beautiful trail often overlooked by many visitors.

October 1, 8, 15, 22, 2015  6-8 pm. Digital Photo Editing: Alternatives to Big $$ Software. Bring Your Own Laptop.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software or inexpensive software. We will also cover Lightroom, which is a good buy for the power it has. We will have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. Most of the software is available for Windows and Mac. Your instructor has supported both professionally. This session is meant for people to bring their own laptop, there will be no lab computers available. Demo versions of the programs are available and you can load them on your laptop prior to class.  People without laptops are welcome to register, get the handouts, and take notes if they wish.

September 20, 27, 2015, 1-4 pm. Intro to Digital Photography at Laughing Brook
Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

Learn the basics of nature photography just in time to photograph the beautiful autumn colors.  We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. Both digital and film users can benefit from this instruction, though when discussing equipment we will concentrate on digital photography and the special opportunities and challenges it offers. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

September 19, 2-4 pm, October 3, 9:30-10:30 am.  Photographing Antique Vehicles.
Held at Hitchcock Free Academy, Brimfield, MA.  Register at 413-245-9977 or at http://hitchcockacademy.org.

Something a little different! Discover the ins and outs of photographing vehicles in varying light. Shiny, rounded surfaces pose challenges to photographers such as glare, reflections and extremes of light, and car shows can be crowded. Learn tips for overcoming these obstacles or turning them into opportunities, while reviewing some basics of exposure and camera operation. Any type of camera is welcome, however be aware that point-and-shoots and phone cameras may not have all of the features we will discuss. The first session will include a class discussion and a practice shoot with a sample car. The second session is an opportunity at the show to discuss results and improvements.  Rain date for the first session is September 26. Rain dates for the actual show are October 4, 10, or 11. Your enrollment in the class gets you in to the full auto show at no additional charge.

September 8, 15, 22, 26, 29 2015  6-8 pm.  Basics of Digital Photography.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Ready for foliage season? Just got a digital camera recently? Or perhaps you have one, and you want to expand your skills by moving off of the A or P setting. We’ll start by reviewing the basics so you have a firm foundation. The deeper the foundation, the higher you can build your skills. We will cover the basics of exposure and focus. This will allow you to get good photos in situations where the automatic settings do not work well. Then we will move to considering composition and the quality of light in your photos. We will spend time each session looking at your photos to fix problems and build on your successes. This will move you to the level where YOU are taking the picture, not the camera. Point and shoot or DSLR cameras are welcome for this class. Notes for each session will be provided. 5 sessions, 2 hours each

September 1 – October 9, 2015. Prints on Display
Valley Photo Center, Springfield

I will have prints on display as part of a group exhibit by the Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists. The gallery is located in Tower Square in downtown Springfield. Hours are Tuesday – Friday 11-2. Opening reception is September 10 from 6-8 pm

September 4 – November 1, 2015. Prints on Display
Salmon Falls Gallery, Shelburne Falls, MA

I will have prints on display as part of a group exhibit by the Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists. The gallery is located at 1 Ashfield Street, Shelburne Falls MA. www.Salmonfallsgallery.com. 413-625-9833. Opening reception is September 12 from 5-7 pm.

August 23, 2015, 1-4 pm. Intro to Digital Photography at Laughing Brook
Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

Enjoy an afternoon photographing the splendors of the summer season in the company of an experienced photographer and naturalist. There will be plenty of opportunity to to get tips on finding subjects abd capturing a good image. Participants should have basic knowledge of their camera and bring the manual to help the instructor quickly find the particular settings for your camera if there is a question. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

August 22, 2015, 10 – 11:30 am. Nature Mysteries
Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

Nature is filled with mysteries just waiting to be discovered and solved. Mysteries such as what animal left its track and where it was going, what critter ate a food item, or who left its scat behind. We’ll take a walk at Laughing Brook both looking for mysteries and figuring out the answers. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

July 19, 26, 2015, 1-4 pm. Intro to Digital Photography at Laughing Brook
Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. Both digital and film users can benefit from this instruction, though when discussing equipment, we will concentrate on digital photography and the special opportunities and challenges it offers. Bring your camera manual if you have one. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

July 18, 2015, 10 – 11:30 am. Insects of the Field and Forest
Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

Summer’s a time when insects are very active, Come visit Laughing Brook to explore both field and forest to see and hear some of the many insects that live here. Watch as a bee pollinates a flower, see how many different types of butterflies you can count, and learn what lives within all that white spittle on the field plants. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

June 27, 2015, 10am – 1pm. Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Hike
MacDonald Preserve, Washington Street, Wilbraham

Visit a unique habitat in western Massachusetts. This cedar swamp, located in Wilbraham, is the largest example of an inland Atlantic White Cedar swamp in Massachusetts. Among rare animals known in this habitat is the Hessel’s hairstreak butterfly, last sighted in this area in the 1960s. Atlantic White Cedar swamps are dependent on catastrophic disturbance to clear the area and allow the young trees to grow. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

June 20, 2015, 10-11:30 am. Summer Sensory Walk
Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Hampden

Enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the summer forest and fields of Laughing Brook. We’ll use all of our senses to learn about the natural world as spring progresses into summer. Walking along the trails we will be listening for birds and insects, smelling and perhaps tasting minty plants, and using our sense of sight to look for birds, insects, and animal homes. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

June 7, 14, 2015, 1-4 pm. Intro to Nature Photography
A  2 part class at Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook.

We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. Both digital and film users can benefit from this instruction, though when discussing equipment, we will concentrate on digital photography and the special opportunities and challenges it offers. Bring your camera manual if you have one. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

June 13 8 – 11 am. Nature Photography Workshop at Noble View
Held at the AMC Noble View lodge in Blandford, MA.

Come to Noble View for a morning of nature and landscape photography. Experienced naturalist, teacher, and photographer Kevin Kopchynski will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. We will start with a review of basics so you have a firm foundation. The deeper the foundation, the higher you can build your skills. We will cover the basics of exposure and focus. This will allow you to get good photos in situations where the automatic settings do not work well. We will also consider composition and the quality of light in your photos. This will move you to the level where YOU are taking the picture, not the camera. Point and shoot or DSLR cameras and phones are welcome for this class, however phones and some point and shoots will not have the features we discuss. Bring a camera manual if you have it, or include the camera make and model you intend to bring when you register. We will keep the indoors session as short as possible and then spend the rest of the morning in the immediate area of the lodge looking for landscape and macro photo opportunities. Be ready for moderate walking and wet ground conditions.

May 16, 2015
There is no 3rd Saturday nature walk at Laughing Brook this week.

May 23, 2015 10 am to 1 pm. Turtle Day at Laughing Brook

This is a day of nature activities that is free and open to the public

May 30, 31, and June 6,7 Photos on Display

My photos, along with many others from my fellow members of the Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists, will be on display at the Monson House of Art.

May 7, 14, 21, June 4, 2015, 6-8 pm.  Digital Photo Editing: Alternatives to Big $$ Software. Bring Your Own Laptop.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also cover Lightroom. We will have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. Most of the software is available for Windows and Mac. Your instructor has supported both professionally. This session is meant for people to bring their own laptop, there will be no lab computers available. Demo versions of the programs are available and you can load them on your laptop prior to class.  People without laptops are welcome to register, get the handouts, and take notes if they wish.

May 4, 11, 18, June 1, 2015  6-8 pm.  Basics of Digital Photography.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Just got a digital camera recently? Or perhaps you have one, and you want to expand your skills by moving off of the A or P setting. We’ll start by reviewing the basics so you have a firm foundation. The deeper the foundation, the higher you can build your skills. We will cover the basics of exposure and focus. This will allow you to get good photos in situations where the automatic settings do not work well. Then we will move to considering composition and the quality of light in your photos. We will spend time each session looking at your photos to fix problems and build on your successes. This will move you to the level where YOU are taking the picture, not the camera. Point and shoot or DSLR cameras are welcome for this class. Notes for each session will be provided. 4 sessions, 2 hours each

April 2, 9, 23, 30, 2015, 6-8 pm.  Digital Photo Editing: Alternatives to Big $$ Software.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer. Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. You will work on Windows computers at the classes, however most of the software is also available for Mac and the principles are the same.

April 1, 2015 6:30-8pm.  Geology of the Pioneer Valley
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

We begin with a digital program showing the geological history of western Massachusetts. The terrain of Massachusetts is a product of several plate tectonic collisions. After the last one, Africa was just a mere hike from Boston. That did not last long, as the continents began to separate and the Atlantic ocean was formed. All of this occurred long before the glaciers put the final touches on the New England landscape.
Then, with the aid of magnified projector images, we get an up-close demo of rock identification. Finally the audience gets to try their new-found skills in a hands-on tour of several rock identification stations.

March 18, 2015 7-9pm.  Life Underground
A talk given for the Springfield Naturalists Club. The club meeting is at 7 followed by my talk. Club meetings are free and open to the public.

At first, the idea of life under ground may seem impossible. It is dark, damp, and covered by dirt.Yet,
many creatures – or parts of creatures – inhabit the underground for all or part of their lives. Tree
roots interact with the soil and with other organisms,many cave-dwelling creatures live their entire
lives without light, bacteria live inside of rocks, and more than 400 lakes in Antarctica are
underground. We will explore these and other facets of the underground biosphere.

March 9, 16, 30,  April 6, 2015, 6-8 pm.  Digital Photo Editing: Alternatives to Big $$ Software. Bring Your Own Laptop.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also cover Lightroom. We will have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. Most of the software is available for Windows and Mac. Your instructor has supported both professionally. This session is meant for people to bring their own laptop, there will be no lab computers available. Demo versions of the programs are available and you can load them on your laptop prior to class.  People without laptops are welcome to register, get the handouts, and take notes if they wish.

March 4, 2015 6-8 pm. Introduction to Google Adwords.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

This session is intended for those who are new to Google Adwords and would like a human guide to all of the information that is out there. I will review the principles I have learned while doing the research to set up my own Adwords account. I’ll show you some of the cost-cutting settings that Google will not do for you if you let them set up your campaign.

February 12, 2015 6-7:30 pm.   A Look at Black Holes
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

This talk is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics. The black hole is one of the possible fates of a star. We will look at the “life cycle” of stars in general, and then explore the nature of black holes in detail. Many misconceptions about these remarkable objects will be discussed and cleared. We will consider gravity and re-visit some ideas of relativity and space-time.

February 2, 9, 16, March 2, 2015  6-8 pm. Basics of Digital Photography.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Just got a digital camera recently? Or perhaps you have one, and you want to expand your skills by moving off of the A or P setting. We’ll start by reviewing the basics so you have a firm foundation. The deeper the foundation, the higher you can build your skills. We will cover the basics of exposure and focus. This will allow you to get good photos in situations where the automatic settings do not work well. Then we will move to considering composition and the quality of light in your photos. We will spend time each session looking at your photos to fix problems and build on your successes. This will move you to the level where YOU are taking the picture, not the camera. Point and shoot or DSLR cameras are welcome for this class. Notes for each session will be provided. 4 sessions, 2 hours each.

January 24, 2015 1 to 3 pm. Reading the Ways of Nature

Whether with or without snow, the landscape records the ways of wildlife. We will explore the Miller Forest Tract of Peaked Mountain, looking for the various stories the land tells us,
from deep geologic history up to recent human and animal activity. Rain or poor driving conditions cancels. Call 413-267-4757 to let me know if you are coming and leave contact info in case of cancellation.

January 19, 2015 6-7:30 pm.  Planets Beyond our Solar System/Life Beyond Earth
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Detailed study of starlight has led to the discovery of hundreds of planets at other stars. We will consider the concept of habitable zones and the effects of the Moon and Jupiter on our own planet. We then go on to explore the idea of finding intelligent civilizations through programs such as SETI.

November 10, 17 December 1, 8  2014 6-8 pm.
Basics of Digital Photography.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Just got a digital camera recently? Or perhaps you have one, and you want to expand your skills by moving off of the A or P setting. We’ll start by reviewing the basics so you have a firm foundation. The deeper the foundation, the higher you can build your skills. We will cover the basics of exposure and focus. This will allow you to get good photos in situations where the automatic settings do not work well. Then we will move to considering composition and the quality of light in your photos. We will spend time each session looking at your photos to fix problems and build on your successes. This will move you to the level where YOU are taking the picture, not the camera. Point and shoot or DSLR cameras are welcome for this class. Notes for each session will be provided. 4 sessions, 2 hours each.

November 3, 2014 6:30-8pm.  Geology of the Pioneer Valley
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

We begin with a digital program showing the geological history of western Massachusetts. The terrain of Massachusetts is a product of several plate tectonic collisions. After the last one, Africa was just a mere hike from Boston. That did not last long, as the continents began to separate and the Atlantic ocean was formed. All of this occurred long before the glaciers put the final touches on the New England landscape.
Then, with the aid of magnified projector images, we get an up-close demo of rock identification. Finally the audience gets to try their new-found skills in a hands-on tour of several rock identification stations.

September 30, October 7, 14, 21 2014, 6-8 pm.
Digital Photo Editing: Alternatives to Big $$ Software. Bring Your Own Laptop.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also cover Lightroom. We will have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. Most of the software is available for Windows and Mac. Your instructor has supported both professionally. This session is meant for people to bring their own laptop, there will be no lab computers available. Demo versions of the programs are available and you can load them on your laptop prior to class.  People without laptops are welcome to register, get the handouts, and take notes if they wish.

September 8, 15, 29, October 6, 2014 6-8 pm.
Basics of Digital Photography.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Just got a digital camera recently? Or perhaps you have one, and you want to expand your skills by moving off of the A or P setting. We’ll start by reviewing the basics so you have a firm foundation. The deeper the foundation, the higher you can build your skills. We will cover the basics of exposure and focus. This will allow you to get good photos in situations where the automatic settings do not work well. Then we will move to considering composition and the quality of light in your photos. We will spend time each session looking at your photos to fix problems and build on your successes. This will move you to the level where YOU are taking the picture, not the camera. Point and shoot or DSLR cameras are welcome for this class. Notes for each session will be provided. 4 sessions, 2 hours each.

June 1,8 2014, 1-4 pm.
A  2 part Intro to Nature Photography Class at Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook.
We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. Both digital and film users can benefit from this instruction, though when discussing equipment, we will concentrate on digital photography and the special opportunities and challenges it offers. Bring your camera manual if you have one. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

May 1,8,15,22 2014, 6-8 pm.
Digital Photo Editing: Alternatives to Big $$ Software.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer. Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. You will work on Windows computers at the classes, however most of the software is also available for Mac and the principles are the same.

April 27, May 4, 2014, 1-4 pm.
A  2 part Intro to Nature Photography Class at Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook.
We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. Both digital and film users can benefit from this instruction, though when discussing equipment, we will concentrate on digital photography and the special opportunities and challenges it offers. Bring your camera manual if you have one. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

April 17, 2014 6:30-8pm.  Geology of the Pioneer Valley
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

We begin with a digital program showing the geological history of western Massachusetts. The terrain of Massachusetts is a product of several plate tectonic collisions. After the last one, Africa was just a mere hike from Boston. That did not last long, as the continents began to separate and the Atlantic ocean was formed. All of this occurred long before the glaciers put the final touches on the New England landscape.
Then, with the aid of magnified projector images, we get an up-close demo of rock identification. Finally the audience gets to try their new-found skills in a hands-on tour of several rock identification stations.

April 3, 2014 6-7:30 pm.  Astronomy Series 4. Dark Matter and Dark Energy
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.
We conclude the series with a look at some of the latest developments in cosmology. There exists the startling possibility that about 75% of the universe is material that is not detectable by ordinary means. Paradoxically, understanding this large-scale result will require some knowledge of the smallest, quantum-level realm of matter. Popular accounts of this concept usually overlook this component of the evidence. Studies from both the largest and smallest scales of existence both point to this result, and we will look at the whole picture.

March 20, 2014 6-7:30 pm.  Astronomy Series 3. A Look at Black Holes
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.
The black hole is one of the possible fates of a star. We will look at the “life cycle” of stars in general, and then explore the nature of black holes in detail. Many misconceptions about these remarkable objects will be discussed and cleared. We will consider gravity and re-visit some ideas of relativity and space-time.

March 13, 2014 6-7:30 pm.  Astronomy Series 2. Planets Beyond our Solar System/Life Beyond Earth
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.
Detailed study of starlight has led to the discovery of hundreds of planets at other stars. The recent transit of Venus has helped to calibrate and extend some of these methods. We will consider the concept of habitable zones and the effects of the Moon and Jupiter on our own planet. We then go on to explore the idea of finding intelligent civilizations through programs such as SETI.

March 6, 2014 6-7:30 pm.  Astronomy Series 1.  Size and Age of the Universe.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.
The Universe is vast, and is explored by studying the light from distant objects. We review the behavior of light, and then proceed to consider topics such as the Big Bang, Relativity, Space-Time, Hyperspace, and space travel. Observation and theory have combined to give us a good picture of the age and nature of the Universe.

March 4,11,18, April 1 2014, 6-8 pm.
Digital Photo Editing: Alternatives to Big $$ Software. Bring Your Own Laptop.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also cover Lightroom. We will have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. Most of the software is available for Windows and Mac. Your instructor has supported both professionally. This session is meant for people to bring their own laptop, there will be no lab computers available. Demo versions of the programs are available and you can load them on your laptop prior to class.  People without laptops are welcome to register, get the handouts, and take notes if they wish.

February 6, 2014 6:30-8pm.  Geology of the Pioneer Valley
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

We begin with a digital program showing the geological history of western Massachusetts. The terrain of Massachusetts is a product of several plate tectonic collisions. After the last one, Africa was just a mere hike from Boston. That did not last long, as the continents began to separate and the Atlantic ocean was formed. All of this occurred long before the glaciers put the final touches on the New England landscape.
Then, with the aid of magnified projector images, we get an up-close demo of rock identification. Finally the audience gets to try their new-found skills in a hands-on tour of several rock identification stations.

January 20,27, February 3,10 2014 6-8 pm.
Basics of Digital Photography.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Just got a digital camera recently? Or perhaps you have one, and you want to expand your skills by moving off of the A or P setting. We’ll start by reviewing the basics so you have a firm foundation. The deeper the foundation, the higher you can build your skills. We will cover the basics of exposure and focus. This will allow you to get good photos in situations where the automatic settings do not work well. Then we will move to considering composition and the quality of light in your photos. We will spend time each session looking at your photos to fix problems and build on your successes. This will move you to the level where YOU are taking the picture, not the camera. Point and shoot or DSLR cameras are welcome for this class. Notes for each session will be provided. 4 sessions, 2 hours each.

November 19,26, December 3,10, 2013, 6-8 pm.
Digital Photo Editing: Beyond The Basics Without Spending A Bundle. Bring Your Own Laptop.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also cover Lightroom. We will have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. You will work on Windows computers at the classes, however most of the software is also available for Mac and the principles are the same.  This session is meant for people to bring their own laptop, there will be no lab computers available. Demo versions of the programs are available and you can load them on your laptop prior to class.  People without laptops are welcome to register, get the handouts, and take notes if they wish.

November 12, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Geology of the Pioneer Valley
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

We begin with a digital program showing the geological history of western Massachusetts. The terrain of Massachusetts is a product of several plate tectonic collisions. After the last one, Africa was just a mere hike from Boston. That did not last long, as the continents began to separate and the Atlantic ocean was formed. All of this occurred long before the glaciers put the final touches on the New England landscape.
Then, with the aid of magnified projector images, we get an up-close demo of rock identification. Finally the audience gets to try their new-found skills in a hands-on tour of several rock identification stations.

November 7,14, December 5,12, 2013, 6-8 pm.
Digital Photo Editing: Beyond The Basics Without Spending A Bundle.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. You will work on Windows computers at the classes, however most of the software is also available for Mac and the principles are the same.

October 6, 20, 1-5 pm. Digital Nature Photography  Intermediate
A  2 part Intro to Nature Photography Class at Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook.

We will discuss best practices for capturing the image using both manual and automatic exposure settings. Both digital and film users can benefit from this instruction, though when discussing equipment, we will concentrate on digital photography and the special opportunities and challenges it offers. The discussion will assume some familiarity with the concepts of f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO. Bring your camera manual if you have one. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

September 19, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Geology of the Pioneer Valley
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

We begin with a digital program showing the geological history of western Massachusetts. The terrain of Massachusetts is a product of several plate tectonic collisions. After the last one, Africa was just a mere hike from Boston. That did not last long, as the continents began to separate and the Atlantic ocean was formed. All of this occurred long before the glaciers put the final touches on the New England landscape.
Then, with the aid of magnified projector images, we get an up-close demo of rock identification. Finally the audience gets to try their new-found skills in a hands-on tour of several rock identification stations.

August 1, 8, 15, 22, 2013, 6-8 pm.
Digital Photo Editing: Beyond The Basics Without Spending A Bundle.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. You will work on Windows computers at the classes, however most of the software is also available for Mac and the principles are the same.

July 31, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Astronomy Series 4. Dark Matter and Dark Energy
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.
We conclude the series with a look at some of the latest developments in cosmology. There exists the startling possibility that about 75% of the universe is material that is not detectable by ordinary means. Paradoxically, understanding this large-scale result will require some knowledge of the smallest, quantum-level realm of matter. Popular accounts of this concept usually overlook this component of the evidence. Studies from both the largest and smallest scales of existence both point to this result, and we will look at the whole picture.

July 24, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Astronomy Series 3. A Look at Black Holes
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.
The black hole is one of the possible fates of a star. We will look at the “life cycle” of stars in general, and then explore the nature of black holes in detail. Many misconceptions about these remarkable objects will be discussed and cleared. We will consider gravity and re-visit some ideas of relativity and space-time.

July 17, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Astronomy Series 2. Planets Beyond our Solar System/Life Beyond Earth
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.
Detailed study of starlight has led to the discovery of hundreds of planets at other stars. The recent transit of Venus has helped to calibrate and extend some of these methods. We will consider the concept of habitable zones and the effects of the Moon and Jupiter on our own planet. We then go on to explore the idea of finding intelligent civilizations through programs such as SETI.

July 15, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Geology of the Pioneer Valley
We begin with a digital program showing the geological history of western Massachusetts. The terrain of Massachusetts is a product of several plate tectonic collisions. After the last one, Africa was just a mere hike from Boston. That did not last long, as the continents began to separate and the Atlantic ocean was formed. All of this occurred long before the glaciers put the final touches on the New England landscape.
Then, with the aid of magnified projector images, we get an up-close demo of rock identification. Finally the audience gets to try their new-found skills in a hands-on tour of several rock identification stations.

July 10, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Astronomy Series 1.  Size and Age of the Universe.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.
The Universe is vast, and is explored by studying the light from distant objects. We review the behavior of light, and then proceed to consider topics such as the Big Bang, Relativity, Space-Time, Hyperspace, and space travel. Observation and theory have combined to give us a good picture of the age and nature of the Universe.

June 18 2013, 7-8:30 pm. Sights and legends of the Night Sky.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
Join us for a monthly look at stars,constellations, and planets that are visible in the night sky. Each month will present new features as the Earth progresses in its orbit around the sun. We will explore both the science and mythology of the heavens in each presentation. The talks are given with a computer and planetarium software, so they will be held regardless of the sky conditions. When conditions permit we will have optional viewing after the scheduled talk. Each talk is meant to stand alone and can be attended separately or as a series. Each lasts 60 minutes including questions from the audience.

June 10, 2013 6-8pm. Basics of Computer Networks
If you have internet access, you almost certainly have a computer network in your home. Even if you have just one computer, it is networked with your broadband modem and your router. In this class we will learn the concepts behind alphabet soup such as DHCP, DNS, and IP. Some knowledge of these concepts will help you from falling prey to the many scams that are out there. We will also look at the process of loading a web page to learn some troubleshooting of the dreaded “cannot load page” message. Basic and simple router operation will also be demonstrated. Your instructor is an experienced network technician and administrator and can show you examples for Windows, Mac, smartphones, and tablets. Participants are welcome to bring a laptop and follow along, but a computer is not required for this class. Notes will be provided for you to annotate and take home. Class duration is 2 hours.

June 2, 9, 2013, 1-4 pm.
A  2 part Intro to Nature Photography Class at Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook.
We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. Both digital and film users can benefit from this instruction, though when discussing equipment, we will concentrate on digital photography and the special opportunities and challenges it offers. Bring your camera manual if you have one. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

June 1 2012  10am.
“Wet and Wriggly”, an exploration of pond life for the Trustees of Reservations, at the Miller Forest tract of Peaked Mountain in Monson.

May 21 2013, 7-8:30 pm. Sights and legends of the Night Sky.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
Join us for a monthly look at stars,constellations, and planets that are visible in the night sky. Each month will present new features as the Earth progresses in its orbit around the sun. We will explore both the science and mythology of the heavens in each presentation. The talks are given with a computer and planetarium software, so they will be held regardless of the sky conditions. When conditions permit we will have optional viewing after the scheduled talk. Each talk is meant to stand alone and can be attended separately or as a series. Each lasts 60 minutes including questions from the audience.

April 27, 9am-4pm
Come to the First ever Pioneer Valley Outdoor Fair at Wilson Hall of Westfield State University.  I will be one of the exhibitors there.

April 14, 21, 2013, 1-4 pm.
A  2 part Intro to Nature Photography Class at Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook.
We will discuss best practices for capturing the image, understanding exposure and focus, and using both manual and automatic exposure settings. Both digital and film users can benefit from this instruction, though when discussing equipment, we will concentrate on digital photography and the special opportunities and challenges it offers. Bring your camera manual if you have one. After the first session, participants are encouraged to take photos for review at the second session. This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

March 19 2013, 7-8:30 pm. Sights and legends of the Night Sky Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
Join us for a monthly look at stars,constellations, and planets that are visible in the night sky. Each month will present new features as the Earth progresses in its orbit around the sun. We will explore both the science and mythology of the heavens in each presentation. The talks are given with a computer and planetarium software, so they will be held regardless of the sky conditions. When conditions permit we will have optional viewing after the scheduled talk. Each talk is meant to stand alone and can be attended separately or as a series. Each lasts 60 minutes including questions from the audience.

February 21, March 7,14,21, 2013, 6-8 pm.
Digtial Photo Editing: Beyond The Basics Without Spending A Bundle.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. You will work on Windows computers at the classes, however most of the software is also available for Mac and the principles are the same.

February 20, 2013 7:30pm  Rachel Carson: Beyond Silent Spring

A talk given for the Springfield Naturalist’s Club, held at the Tolman Auditorium of the Springfield Science Museum.
2012 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring. Rachael Carson is widely recognized for her pioneering work in alerting the world to the dangers of chemical pollution. We will briefly examine this legacy and the controversy surrounding her work. Then we will move on to look at a book she published near the end of her life, The Sense of Wonder. If Silent Spring showed us what was at stake, the Sense of Wonder gave us a way to be sure we raise a generation who cares. We will feature photos from an area in Maine where she explored tidal pools and readings from her book and other authors with similar views. We will then be treated to a few photo essays inspired by this sense of wonder and perhaps inspiring the same wonder in you.

February 14, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Astronomy Series 4. Dark Matter and Dark Energy

We conclude the series with a look at some of the latest developments in cosmology. There exists the startling possibility that about 75% of the universe is material that is not detectable by ordinary means. Paradoxically, understanding this large-scale result will require some knowledge of the smallest, quantum-level realm of matter. Popular accounts of this concept usually overlook this component of the evidence. Studies from both the largest and smallest scales of existence both point to this result, and we will look at the whole picture.

February 7, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Astronomy Series 3. A Look at Black Holes
The black hole is one of the possible fates of a star. We will look at the “life cycle” of stars in general, and then explore the nature of black holes in detail. Many misconceptions about these remarkable objects will be discussed and cleared. We will consider gravity and re-visit some ideas of relativity and space-time.

January 31, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Astronomy Series 2. Planets Beyond our Solar System/Life Beyond Earth
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.

Detailed study of starlight has led to the discovery of hundreds of planets at other stars. The recent transit of Venus has helped to calibrate and extend some of these methods. We will consider the concept of habitable zones and the effects of the Moon and Jupiter on our own planet. We then go on to explore the idea of finding intelligent civilizations through programs such as SETI.

January 29, 2013 6-8pm. Basics of Computer Networks

If you have internet access, you almost certainly have a computer network in your home. Even if you have just one computer, it is networked with your broadband modem and your router. In this class we will learn the concepts behind alphabet soup such as DHCP, DNS, and IP. Some knowledge of these concepts will help you from falling prey to the many scams that are out there. We will also look at the process of loading a web page to learn some troubleshooting of the dreaded “cannot load page” message. Basic and simple router operation will also be demonstrated. Your instructor is an experienced network technician and administrator and can show you examples for Windows, Mac, smartphones, and tablets. Participants are welcome to bring a laptop and follow along, but a computer is not required for this class. Notes will be provided for you to annotate and take home. Class duration is 2 hours.

January 24, 2013 6:30-8pm.  Astronomy Series 1.  Size and Age of the Universe.
Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.

The Universe is vast, and is explored by studying the light from distant objects. We review the behavior of light, and then proceed to consider topics such as the Big Bang, Relativity, Space-Time, Hyperspace, and space travel. Observation and theory have combined to give us a good picture of the age and nature of the Universe.

December 8, 2012 10am-12pm
Tracking Hike for the Trustees of Reservations, held at Peaked Mountain.

November 29, December 6,13,20, 2012, 4-6 pm.
Digital Photography for Teens: The Basics and Beyond.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
Just got a digital camera recently? Or perhaps you have one, and you want to expand your skills by moving off of the A or P setting. We’ll start by reviewing the basics so you have a firm foundation. The deeper the foundation, the higher you can build your skills. Then we will move to making creative choices using the other settings on your camera. Later we will learn how to edit the pictures with a computer, again beginning with some basics and then moving beyond. We will do this with free or inexpensive software. We will be working on Windows computers, however your instructor has professional experience with Mac as well and can help you if you are a Mac user. The principles are the same, and most software, once opened, looks the same on either platform.

November 4, 2012, 1-4 pm.
Hike the Neff Trail at Laughing Brook.  Co-led by myself and Patti Steinman.  This is a 4-mile hike with much to offer in reading the landscape for human and natural history.   This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

October 18, November 1, 8, 15, 2012, 6-8 pm.
Digital Photo Editing: Beyond The Basics Without Spending A Bundle.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
Are you ready to do more with your photos than simple brightness and saturation? But you are not ready to spend hundred$ on software? This class can help you. We will learn some intermediate and advanced principles while using free software. We will also have a demonstration of some software in the sub-$100 range. We will cover sharpening techniques, use of layers, focus blending, and HDR techniques. Toward the end you can work on your projects in a workshop setting with tips and guidance from the instructor. You will work on Windows computers at the classes, however most of the software is also available for Mac and the principles are the same.

October 14, 21, 2012, 1-4 pm.
A  2 part Intro to Nature Photography Class at Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook.  This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550.

October 9, 2012, 6:30-8pm.
Astronomy Series 4. Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

October 2, 2012, 6:30-8pm.
Astronomy Series 3. A Look at Black Holes. Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

September 25, 2012, 6:30-8 pm.
Astronomy Series 2. Extrasolar Planets and Life Beyond Earth. Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.

September 20, 2012, 6-8 pm.
Basics of Computer Networks.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
If you have internet access, you most certainly have a computer network in your home. Even if you have just one computer, it is networked with your broadband modem and your router. In this class you will learn the concepts behind alphabet soup such as DHCP, DNS and IP. Some knowledge of these concepts will help you from falling prey to the many scams out there. We will also look at the process of loading a web page to learn some troubleshooting of the dreaded “cannot load page” message. Basic and simple router operation will also be demonstrated. Your instructor is an experienced network technician and administrator and can show you examples for Windows, Mac, smartphones and tablets. Participants are welcome to bring a laptop and follow along, but a computer is not required for this class. Notes will be provided for you to annotate and take home.

September 18, 2012 6:30-8pm.
Astronomy Series 1.  Cosmology.  Held at the Yellow House in Palmer.  Register at 413-289-6091 or at http://yellowhouseccl.com.
This series is aimed at those who do not have a lot of background and will include a review of basic astronomy and physics.  Each talk is meant to stand on its own, so there will be overlap of basic topics in each talk.

August 11, 2012, 7-9 pm
Persied Meteors.  Program starts at Town Hall in Hampden and moves to Laughing Brook for observing, weather-permitting.  This is a program of Mass Audubon and you should register through Arcadia at 800-710-4550

August – September 2012
I have 2 prints on display at Amherst town Hall as part of a group exhibit by the Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists

June 23 2012  1pm.
“Wet and Wriggly”, an exploration of pond life for the Trustees of Reservations, at the Miller Forest tract of Peaked Mountain in Monson.

June 3 and 10 2012  1 to 5 pm.
A  2 part Intro to Nature Photography Class at Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook.

May 6 2012 1:30 to 3 pm.
A talk on nature photography and nature walk at the Keep Homestead Museum in Monson.

May – September 2012
I have 3 prints on display at Baystate Hospital in Springfield, as part of an ongoing group exhibit by the Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists

April 28 2012  1 to 3 pm.
Reading the Ways of Nature, a walk for the Springfield Naturalists’ Club at the Miller Tract of Peaked Mountain Reservation.

April 23 2012 7pm.
I gave my Patterns in Nature program for the Quabbin Photo Group, at the Quabbin Visitor Center.

October 16 to November 25 2011.
I had 3 prints on display at Valley Photo Center in Springfield, as part of a group exhibit by the Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists

October 23 2011.
Reading the Ways of Nature, a walk for the Springfield Naturalists’ Club at the Miller Tract of Peaked Mountain Reservation.

September 25 and October 2 2011.
A 2 part Intro to Nature Photography Class. 1-5 pm each day at Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook.

August 27 2011.
I gave my Dark Matter-Dark Energy talk at the Astronomer’s Conjunction in Northfield. Massachusetts.

June 19 and 26 2011.
A 2 part Intro to Nature Photography Class. 1-5 pm each day at Hampden Town Hall and Laughing Brook.

May 18 2011.
Patterns in Nature, a talk for the Springfield Naturalists Club

February – May 2011.
I had 4 prints on display at Baystate Hospital in Springfield, as part of an ongoing group exhibit by the Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists

February 22 2011.
I was the main speaker for the Stars Club, presenting on Dark Matter and Dark Energy

January 25 2011.
I was one of 4 speakers for the Springfield Stars Club. The theme was the state of the universe. I gave a short presentation on String Theory.

 

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