ROXBURY – Dr. Barbara Kearns, an avid hiker and a big fan of naturalist John Burroughs, will lead off the 2014 series of Wild Saturday programs at Woodchuck Lodge on May 3 with an illustrated talk on “John Burroughs in the Adirondacks.”
The program begins at 1 p.m. and is sponsored by the Jim Cuttita Agency of Roxbury. Bring a chair or a blanket to enjoy the informal presentation on the lawn at the Lodge, 1633 Burroughs Memorial Rd., Roxbury.
Visitors are invited to come early or linger after the program to tour the rustic farmhouse where the famed naturalist spent summers from 1910 to 1920. The Lodge is open for free tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays on the first weekend of every month. FMI: 845-254-6025; http://www.woodchucklodge.org.
John Burroughs is most closely associated with the Catskills, where he was born in 1837 and where he first learned the ways of nature that informed his writing and made him one of the most popular figures of his day. But Burroughs had an affinity for other wild places, including the Adirondacks, which was the subject of an essay by the same name that he wrote in 1866. It is that essay, in which he described a hike he took in 1863, that will be the focus of Dr. Kearns’ talk.
Dr. Barbara Kearns is a retired superintendent from Newcomb Central School located, in the heart of the Adirondacks. Her home in Newcomb is just down the road from the area Burroughs hiked in 1863. She has not only hiked the area but has also spelunked Burroughs’ Cave that is mentioned in this essay. Her talk will be illustrated by an exhibit of vintage and modern photographs of the area described in the essay.
Karen Underwood of Roxbury, daughter of Dr. Kearns, a Margaretville fifth grade teacher and vice president of the Woodchuck Lodge Board of Trustees, will join her mother to read excerpts from “The Adirondacks.”
Dr. Kearns is the quintessential world traveler and hiker. Her hikes include the 46 Adirondack peaks over 4,000 feet in elevation, Mount Fuji, Kilimanjaro, Galapagos Island, Antarctica, New Zealand, El Camino in Spain, Mount Blanc in France, and most recently, Easter Island and Terra Del Fuego in Patagonia (Chile and Argentina.)
She is also an active member of the Audubon Society and an official ornithological technician for the Cincinnati Zoo. She has participated in official bird counts in North Vietnam and Cuba as well as in New York State.
“Wild Saturdays” is a series of free nature, music and history programs held on the first Saturday of the month through October at Woodchuck Lodge. The next program will be a concert from the porch by the John Burroughs Memorial Locust and Wild Honey Orchestra on June 7. Sponsored by Lamont Engineers of Cobleskill, the program is part of Headwaters History Days celebrating historic sites and organizations in Roxbury, Middletown and Andes. http://www.headwatershistorydays.org.