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2019 Spring Class

Insects Are (Mostly) Our Friends

Instructor: Judy Feinstein, Gaby Howard, Cathie Murray, Kit Pfeiffer, Karen Simpson

Tuesdays •  3/19-5/7 • 10:15 AM-12:15 PM

Location: Randall 250
Do you look for fireflies during summer evenings? Get excited when monarch caterpillars show up in your yard? Wonder what those almost invisible critters are dancing in a beam of sunlight? Enjoy phoebes “hawking” for moths in the air? Recent reports indicate a huge decline in insect populations all over the world. What will we be missing if this trend continues? Come join us as we explore the beautiful, complex world of insects and their relationships with the rest of the natural world, including us. Let’s look at insects through the lens of birds who eat them, and plants that need them for pollination. We’ll learn about insects’ communication abilities. We will share ideas for pollinator-friendly flyways, “hotels” for native bees, and more. As usual we will have fun, there will be hands-on activities, and you will have opportunities to share your own adventures with these fascinating fellow residents of our planet.  Text: Golden Guide to Insects.Classroom


Thursday, May 9 • 5-6:30 pm

Kennebec Land Trust event

Reynolds Forest, SidneyThe Kennebec Land Trust is holding its first Lyceum Field Trip. David Courtemanch and Tom Danielson, biologists, will lead a walk to explore aquatic insects at the Reynolds Forest in Sidney. Streams provide an important microhabitat in the landscape. Our trip along Goff Brook will focus on life in and around the water. Bring binoculars and boots. No registration necessary, please call KLT with any questions, 207- 377-2848.

Saturday, June 1 • 10 am

Maine Entomological Society
FIELD DAY and other MES activities

Hutchinson Pond, Manchester

Newcomers and experienced entomologists alike are invited to come and learn about insect identification in this ecologically diverse conservation area. RSVP to Dana Michaud (872-7683)


A New York Times report on the evidence and implications of the decline of insects all around us.

Both Bob O’Halloran and Judy Feinstein forwarded recent stories about a small business in Maine going big with edible insects. Crickets that taste like cotton candy?
Find out more here and here.

HOPE FOR THE WILD 2019 – Doug Tallamy
This video explains the importance of plants that support caterpillars, not just pollinators. So fascinating! Who knew it takes >6000 caterpillars to fledge one nest of chickadees? And then the parents have to keep feeding them!
By Herb Wilson 
Like some birds, bumblebees live in colonies. Unlike these birds, the bees are all related, but not all reproduce.
Encourage the good insects to get on the job
By Tom Atwell

Plenty of bugs can help in your fight against aphids and their ilk. Step one: Attract the beneficials to your garden.
Class size 10-20 students
3 seats remaining


This team of Maine Master Naturalists, along with guest speakers, has offered numerous Senior College classes in the past, from survey courses to deep dives into trees and birds. Everyone on the team has completed the rigorous year-long Maine Master Naturalist program. We offer these courses to share our excitement about the natural world. And yes, we know some of you have clamored for a Birds II class, but bear with us. We realized many bird species in Maine rely on insects for their existence, either directly as food, or indirectly through plant seeds and fruits arising from insect pollination, or from relying on food animals that ate insects. We are excited to explore the amazing world of insects with you!

Photo: Caterpillar of Black Swallowtail butterfly by Judith Feinstein