Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nature Experienceship - Aspen Forests with Sam St. Clair

What an amazing time we had at the last Nature Experienceship with Dr. Sam St. Clair. We had the opportunity to go up past Aspen Grove and check out the amazing Aspen trees. We learned how vital Aspen trees are to the health of a forest. Did you know that although there may be many Aspen trees, they may actually all be connected to the same root system? Pretty Amazing!!! Did you know that you can use the powder on an Aspen tree trunk as sun screen? Did you know that Aspen trees developed a gross taste in their leaves in order to dissuade browsers (elk and other plant eating animals) from taking away their source of nutrition? Are you aware of the fact that these trees have pockets, when pierced by insects, shoots out a stream of fluid which blows these pest away? (Dr. St. Clair described this unique characteristic as equivalent to us popping a zit). Dr. St. Clair's passion for these vital trees was absolutely contagious. Everyone in attendance truly enjoyed the experience. Dr. St. Clair taught us how wildfires in the forests are actually important to the overall health of forests in the long run. How you may ask? Well, finding out these answers are one of the many reasons to attend EVERY NATURE EXPERIENCESHIP you possibly can! For those who skipped out on this Nature Experienceship because they assumed trees are boring...ask anyone in attendance and they will explain to you how this experience was the furthest thing away from boring. We all walked away with a greater appreciation for the forest and in particular, Aspen trees. We hope to see you at our next Nature Experienceship. Make sure you visit our website regularly and add us on Facebook to make sure you don't miss out on the next Nature Experienceship! Enjoy these video clips.

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Michael Silva, Museum Educator

Friday, October 5, 2012

Nature Experienceship - Wild Edibles with Tom Smith

“Think of it as a tuition rebate.” Dr. Smith told us, as we ate sweet yew berries straight off of the bushes outside the Jesse Knight Building on BYU campus. Students passing by stared as we plucked clover and munched on flower petals.  Last Saturday, Dr. Smith took us all over campus, showing us a dozen different varieties of edible plants that most people see every day, but would never think of eating. As part of the Wild Edibles Nature Experienceship we tasted plants like pansies, nasturtiums, wild sumac, Oregon grapes, yew berries (the flesh of the berry is not poisonous) and more. Some of the plants we tasted, like the wild sumac, were edible, but as Dr. Smith explained, not very tasty alone, so we learned how to turn them into tasty drinks and dishes.
After we’d collected all sorts of berries, leaves and flowers we made some of the tastiest things I have ever had. Acorn flour muffins, purslaine casserole and wild sumac lemonade were some of our favorites. By the end of the morning, we had learned a ton about wild plants that are not only edible, but really tasty, too! We were really lucky to have an enthusiastic expert on edible plants with us to show us things that we would normally never try. Thanks Dr. Smith!
Keep your eyes peeled for future wild edibles trips and join us Saturday, October 20th at 8 AM for a tour of aspen forests with Sam St. Clair!

Shanna, Museum Educator

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nature Experienceship – Birding with Merrill Webb

September 15, 2012

What an excellent birding adventure with Merrill Webb! We had the opportunity to see 34 different species of birds!!! We drove to different preselected sites around the Provo area. It’s incredible what amazing animals are around our own backyard. Merrill Webb discussed the details that differentiate each bird from one another. We were taught specific sounds different birds make. For example, the Killdeer sings its own name…truly amazing! We had the opportunity to watch a Red-tailed Hawk soaring around looking for food. We saw two large, graceful Sandhill Cranes. We even had the opportunity to see an Osprey (Merrill Webb’s favorite bird of the day). What a unique and fun experience it is to have an enthusiastic and experienced birder (Merrill Webb) guiding us through this fun adventure. Make sure you join us this upcoming winter as Merrill Webb takes us on another fun birding adventure. Who knows, this experience may just give you the desire to embark on your own “Big Year”! Join us on the 29th of September for Wild Edibles with Tom Smith or on October 20th for Aspen Forests with Sam St. Clair! Sign up HERE

Michael Silva, Museum Educator

For more pictures, visit our Facebook Page HERE

Here is a short video:

Here is a list of all the birds we saw during our birding adventure:

1. Canada Goose
2. Northern Shoveler
3. Green-winged Teal
4. Eared Grebe
5. Western Grebe
6. American White Pelican
7. Double-crested Cormorant
8. Great Blue Heron
9. Black-crowned Night-Heron
10. White-faced Ibis
11. Turkey Vulture
12. Osprey
13. Northern Harrier
14. Swainson’s Hawk
15. Red-tailed Hawk
16. American Kestrel
17. American Coot
18. Sandhill Crane
19. Killdeer
20. American Avocet
21. Franklin’s Gull
22. Ring-billed Gull
23. California Gull
24. Caspian Tem
25. Eurasian Collared-Dove
26. Northern Flicker
27. Black-billed Magpie
28. Common Raven
29. Tree Swallow
30. Barn Swallow
31. American Robin
32. European Starling
33. White-crowned Sparrow
34. Yellow-headed Blackbird

Monday, June 18, 2012

Our website is back up and functional. Please request a live animal show here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Starting June 18th, the Bean Museum will give a weekly Wildlife Hour at your local library. Check the poster below for the day of the week that we will be at your library. These classes will have everything from learning something to getting to see a real live animal. Children from the ages of 6 to 12 are encouraged to come, but everyone is truly a child at heart.

Click on the poster for a better view of the dates.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nature Experienceship - Birding with Merrill Webb

Last Saturday, April 14, 2012, we saw almost 40 species of birds on our Nature Experienceship with Mr. Webb. Out near Utah Lake we watched birds and learned some of the characteristics that help to differentiate between species, called a ‘field mark.’ Mr. Webb was quick to find all sorts of birds by their calls and markings. We observed Sandhill Cranes dancing and learned that Snipe’s do actually exist. We finished off the trip with a Mr. Webb tradition, naming everyone’s favorite bird seen that day.

We saw the following birds:
American Wigeon
Canada Goose
Green-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Clark's Grebe
Western Grebe
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
White-faced Ibis
Northern Harrier
American Kestrel
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
American Avocet
Black-necked Stilt
Wilson's Snipe
California Gull
Caspian Tern
Franklin's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Common Raven
Barn Swallow
Tree Swallow
American Robin
European Starling
American Pipit
White-crowned Sparrow
Brewer's Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird

Paige Bryson, Museum Educator