The High Desert Museum has expanded its programs for summer, offering a full slate of educational opportunities and activities for all ages. In addition to the permanent exhibits, daily wildlife encounters and living history tours are evening lectures, new exhibits and field trips.
Four new birds of prey have been added to the popular outdoor flight program, Raptors of the Desert Sky. The flight area got a make-over this spring, improving the flight paths for the birds and moving the viewing area to a shadier area under the pines. “This flight program is a favorite for all age, a chance to see birds of prey, in flight and up close. The addition of a juvenile turkey vulture, peregrine falcon and two Harris’s hawks has made it better than ever,” said High Desert Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D.
Also new to the Museum this season is a baby porcupine, called a porcupette. Born in April, the baby and mom, Honeysuckle, are thriving. The porcupette is learning to do what porcupines do best – climb trees.
In addition to the new wildlife, several exhibits will be opening this summer. Glow: Living Lights, explores how certain plants and animals appear to glow in the dark; it opens Saturday, June 13 with a members’ only reception the evening of June 12. Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge, Shared Science is a traveling exhibit created by OMSI which shows how Native Americans combine traditional knowledge with science to solve current problems. It opens July 5. Art of the West, opening on August 1, is a contemporary art show and silent auction that ends with the museum’s annual fundraising gala, the High Desert Rendezvous, to be held on August 29. Proceeds from this night of auctions, raffles, gambling, dinner, hosted saloon and live music help support the museum’s educational programs.
Another evening event is the annual Picnic in the Past on July 7. Guests may bring a blanket and picnic dinner, and enjoy a no-host bar and the pioneer-inspired tunes of the Thorn Hollow String Band. There will be games of old and historical firearm demonstrations, and guests are invited to kick up their heels and do-si-do.
For a quieter outing, Museum & Me on August 19 is a night for children and adults with physical, cognitive and/or social disabilities to enjoy the Museum after hours for free.
In addition to programs held at the Museum, several off-site field trips to bird banding stations or remote camera sites capturing images of Cascade carnivores are offered. The field trips visit research projects the Museum is collaborating on, and require pre-registration.