Wild Sun Catchers

Wild Sun Catchers is a monthly program for kids and families that celebrates the wild plants of the Blue Hill Peninsula, with focus on a different plant each month. This program is free and is co-sponsored by the Blue Hill Library and Blue Hill Heritage Trust.

From seaweed to berries to trees, our landscape is full of amazing plants, and there is so much to learn! Register on our calendar for upcoming programs to receive craft kits to use along with the videos, and enjoy getting to know the wild and wonderful growing things that are part of our ecosystem. Enjoy all the videos below, or view the full playlist on YouTube.


Most Recent:

April 2021: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on horsetails. Claire highlights the book “Flora” with great information and photographs of horsetails. Landere discusses the ecology of horsetails, how to identify and where to find them. She also demonstrates a fun craft of making necklaces or decorations with horsetails. We are also joined by Hannah and Colby of Way of the Earth School and they share uses of this plant.


Previous:

March 2021: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on maple trees. We will be focusing primarily on Red and Sugar Maple trees. Landere will demonstrate how to tap maple trees for sap. This month, we will be joined by special guest Tim Laflam, who will share how to boil sap to make maple syrup! Download a sugaring handout from Tim.


February 2021: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on seaweed. This month, we will have two special guests! Kipp Quinby is back to teach about different types of seaweed found in the Blue Hill area. She also will be demonstrating a fun project of pressing seaweed onto paper to make a print or card. Local business owner of Atlantic Holdfast, Micah Woodcock, will share information about seaweed and some delicious recipes.


January 2021: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on balsam fir. Come learn how to identify these trees and their ecology. This month, there will be two fun projects demonstrated in the video. One will be making sachets with balsam. The second project will be decorating wood cookies that participants can make into ornaments or necklaces.


2020:

December 2020: Kids and their families are invited to join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop about making your own wreath. Blue Hill Heritage Trust invites you to collect greens for your wreath from any of their trails, as long as it will not be for commercial use.  The Surry Forest is a great location to harvest many of the following greens: cedar, balsam, pine, spruce, etc.  Participants may enjoy decorating their wreath with pine cones, winterberries and more.


November 2020: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on asters. Come learn about their ecology, native seed collecting and planting outdoor nurseries.


October 2020: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on cranberries. This month, we are joined by local business co-owner Kipp Quinby from Red Bog, an organic cranberry bog in Sedgwick. Kipp will teach participants about bogs and cranberries! There will be a fun cranberry craft as well.


September 2020: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on oak trees. Landere will demonstrate how to make an acorn doll. Special guest Merrie will share an acorn puppet story, The Acorn.


August 2020: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on lowbush blueberries. This month, we will also be learning about the pollinators that make these plants and fruit possible! Anna Wind from Magic Food Bus will demonstrate how to make a delicious smoothie and share a recipe for participants to try at home. We will be joined by another special guest, Alec Witham, who will teach participants about bees and give a tour of a local beehive.


July 2020: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on St. John’s Wort. Landere will teach kids and families about folklore and history of this incredible plant. Claire will demonstrate how to press and preserve the flowers. We are joined by Brighid Doherty of Solidago School of Herbalism on Deer Isle and she will demonstrate how to make a tincture with St. John’s Wort.


June 2020: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on white pine trees. Landere will teach kids and families about white pine, how to identify them and a song! She will demonstrate how to make white pine tea. Claire will share nature journal prompts and show how to make natural paintbrushes. We are joined by Hannah and Colby from Way of the Earth School and they will demonstrate how to make a pine bark basket.


June 2020: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on dandelions. Landere will teach kids and families about dandelions, how to identify and where to find them. She will share some recipes you can try at home and demonstrate how to make dandelion tea. Claire will share information about dandelions from the book Ubiquitous: Poetry & Science About Nature’s Survivors by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange. She will demonstrate how to make a nature journal and some fun ways to decorate it.


May 2020: Join Landere Naisbitt from Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Claire Malina from the Blue Hill Library for an online workshop on wild violets. Landere will teach kids and families about the natural history and folklore of wild violets, and where to find and identify them. She will also demonstrate how to make candied violets. Claire will share information about plant illustrating and a Maine botanist. Don’t miss the special puppet performance by Merrie Eley of The Violet by Suzanne Down.