East Granby Land Trust hosts ‘A Night Under the Stars’

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
East Granby - posted Wed., Aug. 21, 2013
Sisters Sydney Gasineski and Mianna Messenger have fun during the nature hike.
Sisters Sydney Gasineski and Mianna Messenger have fun during the nature hike. Photos by Lisa Stone.

East Granby Land Trust held ‘A Night Under the Stars’ on Saturday, Aug. 17 at East Granby Farms, where guests from ages 2 to 92 enjoyed hiking, making s’mores and stargazing.

The evening started with a 7 p.m. hike through trails at the farm. EGLT President John Erbland explained what the guests were looking at as they proceeded on the walk.  With the help of Amanda Thompson, a member of the EGLT, the hikers saw different species of plants and wild life that live in the meadows and marsh. “This is a bug larva,” said Thompson as she held a stalk of golden rod.  “The bug lays an egg on the stalk and the plant doesn’t like that, so it seals the larva with the plant stalk. It then looks like a large green bubble. When the bug is ready to hatch, it creates an opening in the bubble and the bug comes out.”

There were several questions from children along the route. One child pointed out a long, brown, fuzzy plant, which the group learned was called a cat tail. Next was the milkweed plant. Erbland snapped the top of the stalk off and showed the children the white, milky substance. “The Monarch butterflies love to eat this.  It is poison to many of its predators, so if the butterfly eats it, it then becomes poisoned,” said Erbland. He then held up a milkweed pod. “When this pod is ready, it opens up and fuzzy white things fly through the air. That is the milkweed seeds flying to another destination to plant itself.”

At dusk, all of the children were handed glow sticks, to help them see where they were headed in the meadow. After the hike came to an end, the group came to a barbecue pit that was ready to make s’mores. “This is awesome,” said Bram Goldsmith.  “I love s’mores and it is so much fun to make them.”

Central Connecticut State University Kristine Larsen, Ph.D., gave a presentation about the solar system and constellations. She also talked about her recent trip to Australia to see the solar eclipse. “I really liked the walk, but I can’t wait to see the stars tonight,” said Cayleigh Goberman. “That is my favorite part.”

The EGLT is determined to save local green spaces. “It is really important to our environment and we are trying very hard to save all the green space that we can,” said Thompson. For more information about EGLT, visit www.eglt.org or call Amanda Thompson at 860-413-3931.

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