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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Things to Do in Charlestown - March Edition

Winter is winding down, though it's hardly been a winter at all this year. Check out our fine list of activities for March.

Email us if you have suggestions we have missed. We will release an update of this article around March 5 when more program information is available.

Visit an historic grist mill

The public is invited to watch corn grinding to produce Carpenter's Jonnycake Meal at the historic Perry-Carpenter grist mill starting at 1 pm on Sunday, March 11. The mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located at 364 Moonstone Beach Road and is the oldest operating water-powered grist mill in Rhode Island. Come and learn about the history of the mill pond and mill, see how it works and sample the excellent Jonnycakes.

Walks and nature

For those who have attended in the past, the annual Charlestown Land Trust bonfire has become a must-attend late winter event, free and open to the public at the Amos Green Farm on Sunday, March 3 (rain date March 11), from 1 to 4 pm. To find the farm, going north on Route 112, take second driveway on the right (#233A) immediately after the Carter Preserve (which you will see on the left). Follow the Charlestown Land Trust signs.

The Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association is hosting two bird walks in March. One is on Saturday, March 3, at 8 am at the Ninigret Wildlife Refuge. A second walk will be held on Saturday, March 24, at 8 am on the Tefft Hill Trail in Exeter, RI. Participants must have binoculars for all Birding Program Events. Field Guides optional. Pre‐registration is required for all WPWA events and is easy to do online. These events are free but please consider making a donation.

The popular Tuesday Bird Walks hosted by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island took the month of February off but will restart on February 6 through the month of May. They depart from the Charlestown Mini Super parking lot at 8 am each Tuesday morning. You may contact Phil Budlong at for the itinerary of each week.

The Audubon Society is also sponsoring a Woodcock Walk at the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge (1040 Matunuck Schoolhouse Road) on Saturday, March 24, at 7 pm. If you have never witnessed the sunset courtship display of the American Woodcock, you are in for a rare treat. The male "timberdoodle" tries to impress the girls with a combination of "peent" calls from the ground and a spectacular, wing-whistling display of aerial acrobatics. We might also hear singing coyotes and a calling owl or two. Meet in the Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge parking lot. Participants should be prepared for a short walk out into the fields, followed by a longer (and probably colder) wait for the birds to get active. Registration is required and there is a small fee. Call (401) 949-5454 ext. 3041.

The Kettle Pond Visitors' Center (50 Bend Road) will hold an information session about the Piping Plover, the challenges they face, and what you can do to help on Saturday, March 17, from 10 am until noon. Attend to learn more about this threatened species.

Taxing tax thoughts

The AARP-sponsored tax help session continue in March on Thursdays from 1 to 5 pm and Saturdays from 2 to 5 pm at the Cross Mills Public Library. Trained volunteers will be there to help you, free to low and moderate income taxpayers, and you don't need to be an AARP member. No appointment is necessary.

Want to write?

We recently described opportunities for writing classes by Grace Farrell of Carolina Fabric and Fiction. A class series at the Octagon House in Carolina Village starts on March 27 and Ms. Farrell will teach a similar course at URI starting April 2. See the article at the link for details.

New restaurant offering

I really appreciate the effort when a local business works hard and takes a risk to bring us something new. The Haversham is doing that this week by offering a dinner theater on March 2 and 3. The details are in this article.

In the heavens

On March 3, Earth will be passing Mars as the two planets wheel around the sun in their respective orbits. The fiery-hued Mars will be an imposing naked-eye sight, shining at magnitude -1.2, just a bit dimmer than Sirius, the brightest star, and will be visible in the sky all night long.

On March 13, the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, team up to make for an eye-catching sight in the western sky soon after sunset. They will be separated by 3 degrees on this evening, Venus passing to the northwest (upper right) of Jupiter and shining nearly eight times brighter than "Big Jupe." Although they will gradually go their separate ways after this date, on March 25 and 26, a crescent moon will pass by, adding additional beauty to this celestial scene.

He's your daddy

Many of us appreciate Daddy's Bread at 805 Moonstone Beach Road. (Yes, I know that's outside Charlestown but sometimes we just have to make a long trip for something good!) They have announced that they hope to open March 10. Keep updated with their Facebook page.

All of these suggestions and lots more are listed in our calendar at Progressive Charlestown.