February 2017
march 2012 header

Call for Artists for Paint for Preservation 2017

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust will hold its 10 th annual Paint For Preservation benefit auction 
July 9th. Juried artists will paint on site Friday, Saturday and Sunday, capturing some of Cape's most scenic vistas. Community members can visit the artists as they paint throughout the weekend. Sunday afternoon, July 9th, the artwork will be auctioned at a catered outdoor reception on Breakwater Farm Road in Cape Elizabeth, overlooking Richmond Island. 

Artists interested in participating can find more details on our website. Proceeds from this very special event benefit CELT's conservation of the shorelands and marshes, farmlands and woodlands that provide scenic beauty, recreational opportunities and important wildlife habitat in Cape Elizabeth. We look forward to celebrating with you 10 years of preservation through art!

This Winter's Events Include...
March 2nd:  Come Learn About Loons with Carrie Gray
This is part of the Thomas Memorial Library's ongoing Maine Wildlife Lecture Series. 
The program gets underway at 6:30 p.m., in the library's Community Room. There is no charge to attend and all are welcome. See a listing of all of the lectures in this series on the library's website.

March 9th:   Nighttime  Owl Talk
Join Cape Elizabeth Land Trust volunteers Erika Carlson Rhile, Lisa Gent, and Tony Owens to learn about owls that reside here in town. We'll have slides and audiotaped owl calls at CELT's office and, if weather permits, we'll head outside and use the audiotaped owl calls to help us try to locate owls. Register through  Community Services, program #73-163. (All participants must register at least 48 hours in advance of the program in order to receive notification of changes or cancellation.) From 7 to 8:30 p.m.;  $6/per person,  min. 4/max. 20.

All of our events can be viewed on our website

CELT Board Profile: Erika Carlson Rhile 

CELT's Education Committee Chair Erika Carlson Rhile describes herself as, "especially passionate about getting children outside." She's been leading educational programming for us for more than 10 years and has two young children of her own. "If a child goes home excited about their experience, whether it's a seasonal walk with volunteer educators in Robinson Woods or a CELT grant-funded Chewonki traveling-classroom, I feel like we're furthering our mission. As an educator, I also love supplying curriculum materials to teachers."

Erika with her family
Erika teaches science at Cheverus High School in Portland, but clearly, the outdoors is her favorite classroom and her playroom. "I love all things outside; this time of year I especially love cross-country skiing. I'm so glad it snowed! In the warmer months, anything at the beach or on the water." Every summer, she and her family move to Swan's Island, where she conducts research in marine ecology for the University of Pennsylvania. 

Erika is also a certified Maine Master Naturalist, and co-leads our annual "Owl Prowl" with Tony Owens and Lisa Gent. She's lectured on Maine's marine mammals (particularly seals), and she shares her passion for nature as the author of the 'Naturalist's Corner' column in The Cape Courier. 

She is very excited about CELT's current educational initiatives, including the 'Good Night Cape Elizabeth' series for pre-schoolers and their families. She adds, "Love, love, love the volunteers on the Education Committee - a great group of people with amazing ideas." 

Looking towards the future she notes, "We've had some beautiful donations: two unbelievable rock collections, which we're hoping to lend to classrooms next fall. Teachers are always asking us for more taxidermied Maine animals; the Pond Cove Media Center is making the coolest display incorporating the animals into a mural. And we've been incredibly lucky with the addition of Linden Rayton as our Education Coordinator; she's been able to get a lot of ideas off the ground."

When asked about her favorite spot in Cape, Erika says Great Pond is a year-round treat. "In the spring my kids and I hunt for lady slippers on the trails, and it was the perfect place to teach my son to paddleboard. One winter we surprised an eagle eating fish out on the ice. No matter when we visit, there's something new. If it's the summer, there's usually an after-walk stop at Kettle Cove Ice Cream!"

Naturalist's Corner:  
of Springtails and Spiders

Let's take a closer look at two groups of insects active in the winter: springtails and spiders. 

Springtails are well-studied members of the phylum Arthopoda-the group that includes invertebrates with segmented bodies, exoskeletons and jointed appendages. They belong to their own group, the Collembola. They're visible on the surface of snow as small black dust particles. Their nickname of "springtail" comes from their tail-like structure called a furcula that is kept coiled under their bodies. When a springtail wants to move, it releases the furcula, which snaps against the surface and flings the springtail into the air. This can take as little as 18 milliseconds!  

Most springtails are very hard to see, but one local species (pictured here) is dark and obvious on the surface of the snow, Hypogastrura nivicola. This is the species we commonly refer to as the "snow flea." Springtails forage on the surface of snow when temperatures are warm enough, eating smaller microorganisms and burrowing down into snow for protection when it gets really cold. 

The winter-active spiders, from several families but mainly the Linyphiidae (or "sheetweavers"), are a bit more of a mystery. Like the springtails, they forage on warmer days and seek shelter on truly cold days. During the winter, they produce way more glycerol, a common biological anti-freeze sugar. They build their sheet webs in depressions in the snow- even in fox prints! We found one on the branches of a hemlock tree last year during a 1 st grade field trip. As we watched in awe, it slowly moved around its snowy habitat. There we were dressed in layers upon layers, and this little spider had only its biology to keep it warm. I look forward to more research on just what makes this possible! 
                                                                                                  - Linden Rayton, CELT Education Coordinator 
Get Out and Play in the Snow!
Winter is a spectacular time of year to be out on our trails, either on skis or snowshoes or even in just your boots - there are so many incredibly beautiful places to explore. Have you been ice skating yet on Great Pond? Bring a shovel, and get your workout in before you skate!

Another fun option is the Full Moon Hike/Yoga Series that Cape Community Services is hosting March 12th. Get details here. The afternoon begins with a 45-minute hike or snowshoe along spectacular Crescent Beach, under a rising full winter moon, followed by 45 minutes of vinyasa yoga. 

The photo at right shows a well-loved cross-country ski trail in Robinson Woods, groomed by early birds and just waiting for you!

From Our  Executive  Director

Katye Charette, CELT's Membership and Development Manager since October 2015 has decided to go back to school. Although she continues to work for CELT on a very part-time basis, we have recently rehired her position.

Please join me in thanking Katye for her dedication to the organization. Katye's enthusiasm, caring and commitment to CELT's mission were always obvious to those who worked alongside her or experienced her warm welcome when they entered the office. She had a knack for carrying out well-executed events and was equally at ease behind the computer. It has been a delight to work with Katye and she will be greatly missed. 

Patty Renaud will begin working as our new Membership and Development Manager February 21st. Patty is an accomplished professional with more than 15 years' experience engaging members and organizing events for nonprofits such as the Natural Resources Council of Maine and Maine Coast Heritage Trust. 

If you are passing by the office after February 21, please stop in and introduce yourself to Patty! We are so happy to have her join our team.

Cindy Krum
CELT Executive Director
Cape Elizabeth Land Trust

A Farewell message from Katye:

I'm so grateful to have had such a rewarding experience as with the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust - an organization whose mission and activities are so exciting and so important for the residents, flora, and fauna of Cape Elizabeth and beyond. I especially enjoyed greeting visitors to the CELT office, delighting in the beauty of Paint for Preservation, visiting Alewife Brook to help count its namesake fish, and engaging with CELT supporters at various events. To all of the wonderful people who I had the good fortune of meeting in my role with CELT: I hope that our paths will cross again. The future of CELT is bright thanks to you! See you on the trails! 

Cape Elizabeth Land Trust | 330 Ocean House Road | Cape Elizabeth | ME | 04107