Thursday, April 28, 2011

Marvelous May!

My list of free and low cost events around the greater Portland area for the month of May, is compiled for the homeschool group I belong to, which includes kids 8 or so and under. In general events are included if they have some educational or cultural value and do not specifically exclude this age group. This month, my guest proofreader is Razzmatazz the Sock Monkey. Thank you, Razzmatazz, for the generous gift of your time! With that in mind, please always doublecheck any event you would like to attend, because typos, mistakes, and cancellations happen! 

This month I am including a few events from last month’s list, as the last weekend in April is also the first weekend in May. Because of the extra chilly, damp weather, many wildflower species are about two weeks behind schedule in blooming, and May continues to be an excellent time for wildflower walks. Also, May and June regularly feature some of the lowest tides of the year, ideal for tidepooling on the coast! The trick is to find a time when the low tide is a couple of feet below sea level which is also at a convenient daytime hour, and aim to leave the beach a bit before that. Some beaches are flatter than others, and as soon as the low tide mark has passed, the tide may come in surprisingly quickly. You will need a local tide table for the area where you will be going. If you would like to include a visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Center, and will be in the area, the tide table of the Hatfield Marine Science Center may be your best bet: A good description of tidepools and where to find them can be found in James Davis’s “The Northwest Nature Guide”. 

"Staver Locomotive Spring Train Event", Friday, April 29, 5:30-8PM, Staver Locomotive, 2537 NW 29th Ave., Pdx.  Free but donations accepted for a new turf field for Chapman Elementary and the local community, which will be matched by Staver, up to $5,000.  "Free viewing of our live model steam locomotives and new outdoor track."  These are pretty cool events.  The building is not heated, so dress warmly.  More info about Staver and the cause for which they are seeking donations:

Family Clay Nights, every Friday until June 10,  6PM-8:30PM, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx.  No preregistration required, and no out of district fees are charged.  $10 per hour for a child and parent pair, $4  for each additional child.   "Come as a family and play with clay!  Includes glazes, firings, and 5 lbs of clay.  Use of the potter's wheel by instructor approval only.  Pay at MAC office."

"Northwest Handmade Instrument Exhibit", Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Hwy., Marylhurst, OR, 12PM-5PM, Admission $3, children under 12 free.  Exhibit on Clark Commons, with performances in Wiegand Recital Hall.

Gathering of the Guilds”, Friday, April 29, 10AM-9PM, Saturday, April 30, 10AM-9PM, and Sunday, May 1, 10AM-5PM, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Pdx. Free. “Oregon Potters Association and the Ceramic Showcase Present the “Gathering of the Guilds,” which is the only art show like it in the country. Not only is it the largest clay show in the U.S., but features work from a variety of art guilds including: Creative Metal Arts Guild, Guild of Oregon Woodworkers, Northwest Fine Woodworkers Guild, Oregon Glass Guild, Portland Bead Society, Portland Handweavers Guild and the Guild of Oregon Woodworkers. This one-of-a-kind show will feature over 350 booths of diverse, spectacular art for the home, garden and office. In addition to the pieces for purchase, the clay show alone will feature: Daily demonstrations of clay techniques by nationally-acclaimed artists; Lobby display featuring a “Entertaining the Queen of Cups” theme—a modern take on Renaissance Faire; A selection of Oregon wines available for tasting; · Adult clay area equipped with experienced teachers featuring potters’ wheels and tables for hand building; Children’s clay play area; · Local high school ceramic gallery; Giveaway of eight $50 gift certificates during the weekend; · High school teacher “Throw-A-Thon;” Friday evening jazz performance by the Pete Krebs Trio from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.”

Faire In The Grove”, Friday, April 29, 3PM til dusk, Saturday, April 30, 10AM til dusk, and Sunday, May 1, 10AM -3PM, McMenamins Grand Lodge, 3505 Pacific Ave. , Forest Grove, OR. Free, all ages. “Step back in time for a day of revels at the Faire In The Grove! Join Pacific University's History Department, Medieval Re-enactors, Armored Fighters & History Buffs, who invite you to experience the Middle Ages and the Renaissance! Hosted on the vast front lawn of the Grand Lodge, come and be transported back to Fairegrove, a medieval village. Enjoy seeing and learning some of the history behind life in the middle ages and beyond into the Renaissance. Enjoy live armored combat, rapier, dance, music, story telling, merchants, merchants, merchants, juggling, medieval cooking, and textile demos, book binding, leather working, and strolling musicians, singers and dancers throughout the day AND MORE!”A complete schedule of events can be found on their website: We went last year, and it was fun! I was surprised that there weren’t many food vendors, so be prepared in case that hasn’t changed this year.

Saqra’s 24th Annual Belly Dance Showcase Festival”, Saturday, April 30. 11:30AM-9PM, Sunday, May 1, 11:30AM- 7PM. Admission $7, children under 10 are free. “The event includes performances, along with workshops, live music, vendors of costuming, instruments, and art.”

"Dance Party!  with DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid", Saturday, April 30, 7-10PM, Bhaktishop, 2300 SE 26th Ave (at Division), Pdx.   Bollywood and Bhangra! "You know you love it.  You know you need it! Come get down with us barefoot and booze-free at this rollicking all-welcome dance party annual celebration.  Kids are welcome, encouraged, and free, and there are the legendary cupcakes, awesome beats from the famous duo, and a great Spring loosening of your soul.  Get down!" and   (Don't you love that phrase, "kids are welcome, encouraged, and free"?  Sounds like a great parenting philosophy!)

Kindierock PDX”, Saturday, April 30, 10AM-12PM, doors open at 9:30. Curious Comedy Theatre, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Blvd, Pdx. $8 for adults and $4 per child. “Featuring Mo Phillips, Johnny & Jason, and The Toy Trains!” This is a nice performance space. 

Oregon Orchid Show”, Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, 10AM-5PM, Ambridge Event Center, 1333 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Pdx. Admission $7, a $2 off coupon is available on their website. “The largest orchid event in the Pacific Northwest! International, National and Local Vendors, Elaborate Orchid Displays, Repotting Clinic, Educational Displays, American Orchid Society Judging, Silent Auction, and Raffle.”

Floreo De Soga”, Saturday, April 30, 11:15AM, North Portland Library. “With grace and finesse, the Mendoza family presents traditional rope maneuvers and bailables of charros (Mexican cowboys) that have been passed on for generations. The performers wear traditional gear and clothing while demonstrating rope skills and tricks. Between demonstrations, they perform ballet folklórico including El Gavilán and La Bruja in traditional dress.” 

Cantos y Juegos”, Saturday, April 30, 2:30PM, Rockwood Library. “Join Tlaxcalan musician Hugo Nava as he sings and plays traditional music in Nahuatl, P'urhe'pecha and Spanish. Audience participation in this Spanish and English program is encouraged.”

A Walk On The Wetlands”, Saturday, April 30, 9AM-12PM, Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, 2600 SW Hillsboro Hwy., Hillsboro, OR. $3. “Discover the magic of Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve on these wonderful, leisurely hikes. Volunteer Rick Balazs will lead us as we view all that nature has to offer on the Preserve. The emphasis is on birds, but participants will have the opportunity to enjoy the natural world and all of its creatures. The terrain is mostly flat, and the pace will be slow so we don’t scare away the critters. Dress for the weather, wear shoes or boots that can get wet and/or muddy. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. These hikes are limited to ten participants, so register early. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The trails are not wheelchair accessible. Call Sarah Pinnock at 503-681-6278 to register.”

Third Annual Champoeg Quilt Show”, April 30-May 1, 10AM-3PM, Champoeg State Park, 7679 Champoeg Road NE, St. Paul, OR. “Quilting Through The Ages, featuring over 50 beautiful quilts, plus a raffle quilt! Quilt demonstrations by costumed volunteers.”

Oregon Ag Fest”, Saturday, April 30, 8:30AM-5PM, and Sunday, May 1, 10AM-5PM, Oregon State Fairgrounds, Salem, OR. Adults $7.50, kids 12 and under free. “Always the last weekend in April, Oregon Ag Fest is an activity-filled festival where kids (and grown ups too!) can touch, taste and experience life on the farm. Agriculture affects us all, though many of us don’t know much more than where to buy the products we need. At Ag Fest, learn where our food and fiber comes from, how livestock is raised, the importance of forests for our ecology and survival, plus much more. Plant a seedling, ride a pony, watch chicks hatch, pet a rabbit, dig for potatoes and much more.” This is a lot of fun! 

Arbor Day and Earth Day”, Saturday, April 30, 1-4PM, Cedar Creek Grist Mill, 43907 Northeast Grist Mill Road, Woodland, WA, free, donations accepted. “We’ll be celebrating by hosting talks on the value of trees to Washington. There will be a free tree seedling for our visiting families. Music by the Old Time Fiddlers. Visitors to the Grist Mill will be greeted and given a "Working Tour" of how this mill still works today. Huge pulleys and belts spinning above and below are turning and churning to produce flour, corn meal and even apple cider (the last Saturday in October). These samples are given to the visitors for take home and a first hand experience of the products. No gas or electricity are used, simply mother nature's water power. All that work here are volunteers and are more than happy to explain how this process works to any and all.”

"Peregrine Watch",  Every Saturday from April 30- June 11 (weather permitting) 2-4PM, outside behind OMSI.  Free.  "On Saturdays throughout the spring, Audubon will have trained naturalists posted on the Springwater Trail behind OMSI to show visitors where the peregrines  are nesting and to  explain peregrine behaviors.  We will have scopes and binoculars for visitors  to use, and naturalists will be able to answer your peregrine questions".  We went last year, and unfortunately couldn't see a thing.  It all depends on exactly where they are nesting on the Marquam Bridge, and whether the adults and babies are active at the time.  They did bring excellent scopes, and were very knowledgeable.  So if we had been able to see something, it would have been pretty cool.  My suggestion is definitely to check it out, but not to make a special trip that doesn't include other activities.

5th Annual All Day Singing Event”,  Saturday, April 30, The Village Ballroom, 700 NE Dekum, Pdx. Sponsored by Portland Sacred Harp.  Free.  “The singing starts at 9:30am (doors open at 9am) and continues until 3:00pm. All are welcome! No experience is required at this social, community shape note singing event. We sing from The Sacred Harp, a songbook continuously in print and in use since 1844. This American folk tradition of unaccompanied 4-part harmony singing is spirited, exuberant, and LOUD. Come sing for yourself! Come & go as you please!  Songbooks available to borrow or buy!  All ages welcome! (childcare not provided) Potluck lunch at noon! Bring a dish to share as you are able.”

Tour the Gardens of Natural Delights”, most Sundays, May through July,  at private homes throughout the Portland metro area.  Free, preregistration required, beginning at 8:30AM on April 30. “Experience Gardens of Natural Delights™ and get practical tips from the home gardeners who create and care for them organically. Learn their techniques and design strategies for nontoxic and natural landscaping. From wildlife wonders and incredible edibles to floral displays and outdoor entertaining extravaganzas, see how pesticide-free practices serve every gardener’s need.”  More details and a complete schedule here:

Open Garden Days”, Saturdays and Sundays from April through May 22, 11AM- 4PM, Smith Garden, 5055 Ray Bell Road, St. Paul, OR. $3. “The native Douglas-fir create an ideal environment for the natural woodland garden of rare beauty, featuring superior forms of species and hybrid rhododendrons. Complimenting the rhododendron collection are choice trees, shrubs, wildflowers and bulbs. Each pathway reveals its own visual treat— a moss covered log with plants tucked in the bark crevices, plants thriving on tree stumps, drifts of wild flowers. Masses of Cyclamen, Narcissus, Erythronium and Trillium flourish here.”

Jenkins Estate Bird Walk”, Saturday,  April 30, 8AM-11AM.  Free. “Join this free expert-guided bird walk amongst the historic gardens and stone pathways of the Jenkins Estate in Beaverton. Song birds and other forest species await your discovery at this picturesque estate. First settled in 1845, this 68-acre wooded estate on slopes of Cooper Mountain is now on the National Registry of Historic Places. Its English gardens and their unique species of trees and shrubs provide a tranquil setting for birds and birdwatcher alike. Join naturalist Elaine Murphy as she reveals the wildlife secrets this garden holds. We’ll meet at the Beaverton Backyard Bird Shop (11429 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Beaverton) at 8:00 a.m. and then carpool to the start of the walk.  Advance reservations are required; call 503-626-0949.”

Walk for the Birds”, Sunday, May 1, 8AM-4PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR.  Free.  “Come celebrate the opening of the seasonal trails. Volunteer Naturalists will be available from 9am-3pm at the Wetland Ponds investigating pond life, and at the River Overlook and the Wetland Overlook with scopes and answers to your questions. Ginny Maffitt will be leading two Native Plant walks at 9am and 1pm. These walks are appropriate for plant enthusiasts of all ages. Anyone interested in walking with Ginny should meet in front of the Wildlife Center. Carpooling is encouraged as parking may be limited.”

Nikki McClure”, Sunday, May 1, 4PM, Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR, and  Saturday, May 14, Time TBA, at A Children’s Place Bookstore, 4807 NE Fremont St., Pdx.  (Check for details.) “Known for art that celebrates the virtues of community, hard work, and living gently on the planet, Nikki McClure's latest explores a topic close to her heart: the farmers market. Alternating between story and fact, this lovingly crafted picture book follows a mother and son to the weekly market. 'To Market, to Market’ shines awareness on the skill that goes into making good food.”

Design And Create A Children’s Garden”,  Sunday, May 1, 2PM, Capitol Hill Library,  Saturday, May 7, 10:30AM, St. Johns Library (registration required, call 503-988-5397), Sunday, May 22, 2PM, Troutdale Library (registration required. Register online  or in the library, or by calling 503-988-5234).   “It does not take much space to create a garden that will captivate the imagination of your child. Ruth Hampton, founder of Sprouts, LLC, will teach the basics of designing a children’s garden including what types of plants are safe and interesting to children, what elements should be included in the design to encourage play and curiosity, and how to get children excited about taking care of their new garden.”

The Story of Medio Pollito and Other Bilingual Tales”, Sunday, May 1, 1PM, Fairview-Columbia Library.  “Hear fun and engaging folk tales from Mexico and Central America for both English and Spanish speakers. Storyteller Will Hornyak encourages audience members to participate in acting out the characters' parts as brave Medio Pollito, the one-legged, one-eyed, one-winged chicken, seeks his fame and fortune.”

Morning Bird Song Walks”, Mondays, 7AM-9AM, Tryon Creek State Park, free. "From beginners to advanced birders, anyone who is fascinated by the sounds of birds should take advantage of these guided walks through the Tryon Creek upland forest and riparian areas. By starting with the earliest trips you can learn the songs of he common resident species and then when the migrants arrive you’ll be able to sort them out during the morning chorus. These free walks are led by Audubon volunteer Rick Wagner and meet at the Tryon Creek Nature Center."

Mr. Ben.” He has regular gigs around town. They are Tuesdays at 10:00AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Avenue, Pdx, $3 per walking human, Wednesdays at 10AM at Eco Baby Gear, 2122 SE Division Street, Pdx, $5 suggested donation, Wednesdays at 4PM at Curious Comedy Theatre, now without a cover charge but a donation requested, (this venue has the advantages of a dinner menu and tons of space), Thursdays at 10AM at Mississippi Treehouse, 3742 N Mississippi Ave, Pdx, and Fridays at 10AM at Branch and Birdie, 8021 SE Stark St., Pdx. He introduces playing the ukulele to kids as young as 3. “Though most people know me as a performer, I think of myself first and foremost as an educator. Music education is the real motivation for why I do what I do. I believe that music should be and can be more accessible to all people. My primary goal is to eradicate the myth that some people are simply “non-musical.” We are all musical, and anybody can learn to play music. Yes, even you.”

Mo Philips”, Mo has regular gigs every Tuesday at 10AM at Posie’s Café, 8208 N. Denver Ave., Pdx.; Thursday at 10:30AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave, Pdx., $3 per walking human; and Thursday, May 12, at 6PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi Ave, $5 per family, as well as Sunday, May 8, and Sunday, May 22, 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division St. “Mo performs interactive shows that respect the intelligence of young people with wit and irreverence, without being strictly scatological. This is music built for kids and parents alike! Mo does not dumb down lyrics or melodies for kids to "understand", and therefore sings about things whole families can appreciate. A fine, distilled blend of Americana, Soul and Blues, while not being afraid of a poppy hook or straight rockin' out.”

"Professor Banjo", Saturday, May 7, 4PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi Ave., Pdx., $5 per person or $15 per family, Every Monday at 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division St., Pdx; Tuesdays at 10:30AM at the Warehouse Café, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx; Wednesdays at 12PM beginning May 11 (weather permitting) outside at Lot 13 (at N. Mississippi Ave. and N. Shaver St., behind the Fresh Pot Coffee Shop); and every Thursday at 4PM at Branch and Birdie, 8021 SE Stark, Pdx. "Paul Silveria performs for families as the banjo-slinging, old-time singing "Professor Banjo" entertaining children with sing-a-longs, dancing games, and stories, all accompanied by lively old-time music that parents can enjoy, too! Professor Banjo's shows are fun for a wide range of ages - from toddlers to tweens who still like to get up and dance around!" Professor Banjo is awesome! 

Van Oodles”, CD Pre-Release Party, Friday, May 6, 6PM, The Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx.;  CD Release Party, Saturday, May 7, 10AM, Café Au Play, 5633 SE Division St., Pdx. Professor Banjo will also be appearing.;  Tuesday, May 10, 7PM, Tigard Library:  “One spring day, Lilly the caterpillar doesn’t show up for a tea party with her friends. Where can she be? Celebrate spring, enjoy this musical mystery, and find out just what has happened to Lilly. This program is part of the City’s Arbor Month celebration.”; and Saturday, May 14, 11AM at Green Frog Toys, 1031 NW 11th Ave., Pdx.  Van Oodles also has regular gigs Mondays for a Lunch Dance Party at 12PM  The Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx; Tuesdays at 12PM at Sound Roots, 3954 N Williams Ave, Pdx.,  Wednesdays at 11AM at Branch and Birdie, , 8021 SE Stark, Pdx; Wednesdays at 1PM at Milagros, 5433 NE 30th Ave, Pdx., $3 per walking human;  and Fridays at 10AM at Café Au Play, 5633 SE Division St., Pdx.From beat-boxing and a cappella to funny accents and pitch-shifting, Van Oodles uses a range of vocal techniques and effects to bring his quirky cast of characters to life. More than just having fun, kids learn from Van Oodles songs because they can understand and visualize the lyrics: a bee stuck in the house, washing clothes on a Sunday, a ladybug taking flight.”

Saturn Returns”, Monday, May 2, 7PM and 8:15PM, Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium, $2. "All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky, featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images."

IMAX Film Festival”,  May 3-June 26., OMSI. Eight weeks of some of the best IMAX films available.  Run times are generally around an hour.  Seeing them on the big screen is really wonderful, and can be a great way to introduce little ones to movie theatres. Why?  All stadium seating, short run times, super engaging topics, and the big, big, big screen.   Learn more here:

27th Annual Cinco De Mayo Fiesta”, Thursday, May 5, through May 8, Saturday, 1020 Naidto Parkway, Pdx. Admission $6 for adults 13 and older, $3 for kids 6-12, Seniors 62 and older $4, kids under 6 are free.  Details of all the festivities here:

Around The World In Song!”,  Thursday, May 5, 11AM, Fairview-Columbia Library, and Friday, May 20, 4PM, Rockwood Library.  “From Mexico to West Africa, Austria to Japan and beyond, we celebrate similarities and differences with people through their traditional music. Join songwriter Greta Pedersen as she explores the music of different cultures by playing her guitar and amazing percussion instruments from around the world including Thai frogs, a Guatemalan bamboo drum, an African gourd shaker and South American goat toenails!”

komedy 4 da kids”, Thursday, May 5, 3:30PM, Hollywood Library.  “Angel Ocasio presents a bilingual and interactive performance combining physical comedy, juggling, balancing and magic.”

Colors and Sounds of Estonia”, Friday, May 6, 7:30PM, Portland State University Cramer Hall, (corner of SW Park and SW Main), Pdx., Room 171, free. “Colors and Sounds of Estonia. Members of the Portland Estonian Society will show their colorful folk costumes, tell about their culture and their backgrounds. This will be a celebration of Estonian culture and there will be music. Presentations are sponsored by the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation and the PSU Department of World Languages & Literatures. Lectures are free, the public is welcome, refreshments are served.”

John Katz”, Friday, May 6, 7PM, Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR.  and Saturday, May 7, 11AM, at Tualatin Library.  “With ‘Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm’,  a children's picture-book version of his adult book A Dog Year, Jon Katz introduces the four dogs who now share life with him on a farm in upstate New York. This reassuring story with heart-melting photos will be a favorite with children who love animals and with parents who are happy to share its message about the power of affection.”

Discovering Labyrinths:  Patterns With Purpose”, Friday, May 6, 7PM-8:30PM, Tigard Library Community Room.  “Kay Kinneavy from Labyrinth Network Northwest will discuss the history and significance of labyrinths.  A 30' labyrinth, modeled after the one at the Chartres Cathedral in France, will be set up.  Facilitators will be present for those who want to make their first labyrinth walk.”

Emerald Valley Beltane Festival”, Friday, May 6-Sunday, May 8.  Springfield, Oregon, free. Typical activities include a Maypole, Ritual, Music, Workshops, and Readings.   This is an event to which the general public is invited, which could be an excellent opportunity for outsiders to learn about paganism as a world religion.  More details to be announced here:

Guided Nature Walks”, Saturdays, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. “Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes.” April 30: Tryon Tour of the Bridges Pt. 2, May 7: Plant and Wildflower Walk;  May 14:  Nest Tour;   May 21:  Herp Hike- Amphibians and Snakes;  May 28:  Tryon Tour of the Bridges, Pt. 3.

Weekend Guided Walks”, Saturdays,  11AM-12PM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 Southeast 122nd Ave., Pdx. Free.  “Meet in front of the Manor House every Saturday through the end of October for these fun and informative tours of Leach Garden. Check out what's blooming and explore different sections of the Garden with your volunteer guide. These seasonal walks are free and appropriate for all ages.”

Carolyn Conahan”,  Saturday, May 7, 1PM, at a Kid’s Drawing Party at Powells at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, OR., and at an author reading Saturday, May 21, 2PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx.  Children’s book author and illustrator Carolyn Conahan shares her new book, "The Big Wish." “A yard full of dandelions, one small girl who believes in the power of a wish, and a world record just waiting to be made… With a light touch and whimsical style this inviting picture book tugs at the heartstrings and reminds us all of what is most important in life.”

Fun Out Loud!”, Saturday, May 7, 11AM, Capitol Hill Library.  Free tickets will be given out at 10:30AM.  “Have fun singing and acting along with lively stories, songs and poems told by professional storyteller (and award-winning liar!) Anne Rutherford. Croak, rattle and roll along with Anne’s lively program featuring cowboys, coyotes, bears and frogs from both around the world and right here in your own backyard!”  Anne Rutherford is pretty cool!

Festival of the Birds”, Saturday, May 7, 9AM-3PM, Sellwood Park. Free. “A welcome sign of spring, Portland’s migratory birds are arriving in the northwest from their tropical wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America. The Festival invites families and bird lovers to enjoy a day outdoors and learn about birds through a variety of fun activities such as: Guided bird walks, Live music and stories, Nature photography field trips, Kids’ games and art activities, Live birds from Portland Audubon, and Exhibits about the birds of Portland. Attend the Early-Bird Bird Walk at 7:30 a.m. Registration required: Call 503-823-2525 or go to and click on recreation tab, choose class #345264.  Guided Bird Walks on the ½ hour from 9 am – 2 pm.  Compare this year’s sightings with bird appearances in earlier years. Family Activities, make bird feeders for your mother’s garden, run as fast as birds fly in Bird Olympics, create bird pictures using forms from NW Native American art, send a bird postcard to schools along the Pacific Flyway, or choose from a myriad of other activities. Storytelling and Live Music by local storytellers and musicians. Come hear songs and stories about migratory birds in the Portland area. Education Birds from Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center.  See up close a Peregrine Falcon, Great Horned Owl, Northern Spotted Owl, American Kestrel, Turkey Vulture and Common Raven.”

Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge Bird Walk”, Saturday, May 7, 8AM-11AM, free. Discover Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge on an expert-guided bird walk. Learn about the birds and wildlife of this diverse refuge from naturalist and educator, Elaine Murphy. Its location on the Pacific Flyway make this refuges an important stop over for migrating waterfowl, songbirds, and shorebirds. May is peak migration time for many birds so you’re likely to spot many of the over 200 species that call this refuge home. Meet at the Lower Boones Ferry Backyard Bird Shop (16949 S.W. 65th Ave., Lake Oswego) to carpool. Free. Advance registration required; call 503-635-2044.”

Around the World In Search of Stories”,  Saturday, May 7, 11AM, Hillsdale Library.  Free tickets will be given out at 10:30.  “Put on your helmets and climb aboard your imagination-cycles as you head off on a trek around the world in search of stories. Pedal across the Pacific on the way to Asia, travel through the Middle East en route to Africa, then across the Atlantic to South America. Along the way, professional storyteller Alton Chung will share stories and legends of sharks and volcanoes, folktales of mischievous rabbits and clever children, and tales of folly and wisdom. After a fun-filled journey, you will come pedaling home with lots of adventures to share with your friends and family.”

Springtime Critters”, Saturday, May 7, 2PM, Albina Library.   Register online;   Wednesday, May 11, 5PM, Kenton Library.  Register online;  Saturday, May 14, 2:30PM, at Capitol Hill Library.  Register online;    Sunday, May 15, 2PM, Troutdale Library, register online.   “Local artist Dawn Grunwald will teach you how to reuse those wool sweaters stashed away in your back closet. Use felted sweaters to create tiny stuffed owls, bunnies, birds or kittens which you can decorate with fabric scraps, buttons, beads and sequins. Not a sewer? Not a problem! Basic hand sewing skills and pattern making will be taught. All materials provided.”  Jasper and I attended one of these workshops.  On one hand, we did make a creature he treasures.  On the other hand, the hand sewing was beyond him, and I did most of the work.  You'll know if your kid would like it.

What’s It Like To Be Muslim?”, Saturday, May 7, 1PM, Central Library US Bank Room.  This is one of those events for adults I mention only because it could be a great learning opportunity for kids who can sit quietly.  This is part of a series called “Mile In My Shoes”. “You know you can borrow all sorts of things from the library, but how about borrowing someone else's shoes? We invite you to check out a fresh perspective and get the answer to the question, ‘what's it like to be someone else?’.  Hear from people who may be very unlike yourself, ask questions and satisfy your curiosity. Moderated by Emily Harris, host of Think Out Loud, OPB's daily public affairs talk show. Originally from Somalia, Muna Abshir Mohamud settled in the west 11 years ago as a refugee of her war-torn homeland. Since then, Muna has worked on refugee rights and resettlement issues; post 9/11 education and advocacy work; and provided policy and cultural expertise to schools, local and state officials, law enforcement and community organizations. A passionate educator, Muna believes that education through honest and respectful dialogue is an effective way to counter prejudicial and intolerant attitudes in our communities.”

What’s In Bloom For Mother’s Day”,  Saturday, May 7, 2PM, Woodstock Library.  Registration required, register online“Make something special for a special person in your life! Using nature and garden materials, participants can create picture frames for moms, aunts, grandmothers and friends. Ruth Hampton, founder of Sprouts, LLC, will share what plants are in bloom for the spring season and then children will decorate their frames with twigs, dried flowers, small pine cones and other garden objects. All materials provided.”

The Alphabeticians Play The ABCs!”, Saturday, May 7, 3PM, Northwest Library, and Saturday, May 14, 2PM at Gresham Library.  “The Alphabeticians play "Kindie Rock" music that is fun for the whole family! They combine humor, clever (mostly original) songs, and interactive elements in their shows as they sing about numbers, sizes, dads, metaphors, bags, monsters, extinct fish and the alphabet. Adults will have as much fun as the kids!”

World Labyrinth Day Festival”, Saturday, May 7, 11AM-3PM, Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Hwy, Marylhurst, OR.  Free for all ages.  “At Noon, we will have a MayPole Labyrinth Dance, something most us don't get to see very often. At 1 pm, "Walk as One at 1"--a worldwide Labyrinth event--in which we'll help create a planetary wave of peaceful energy, something our Planet so desperately needs right now. AND, don't forget to bring Non-perishable Food Items to create a Food Labyrinth that will be enjoyed by all--especially the Food Banks that will accept our donations at the end of the day.”

World Labyrinth Day Celebration”, Saturday, May 7, 10AM, Estacada Library Flora Room and Library Labyrinth.

Russian, Ukrainian, and Cossack Folk Songs”, Saturday, May 7, 10:30, Sellwood-Moreland Library.  “This performance showcases some of the most popular Russian, Ukrainian and Cossack folk songs. Wearing a traditional costume, Russian singer and guitarist Natalia Hougen shares the history and context of each song and explores their role in Slavic tradition.”

Pink Pig Puppet Theatre”, Saturday, May 7, 11:45AM, Beaverton City Library. “Celebrate Children's Book Week with a puppet show from Pink Pig Puppet Theater. Enjoy hilarious and interactive stories from Mr. Steven Engelfried.”

Founder’s Day Celebration”, Saturday, May 7, 1PM-4PM, Draft horse competition from 10AM -3PM, Champoeg State Park, free with $5 per vehicle day use fee. “Speakers, refreshments, music! Oregon State history started on May 2, 1843 at Champoeg with the historic vote to create a government and territory. Celebrate this milestone where it all began with draft horse plowing competition, blacksmith demonstrations, live music and more. This year's theme Champoeg Celebrations frames the presentations and helps our visitors understand how this place came to be. Teams of horses and their handlers compete in the annual plowing competition. See an example of 19th century farming practices and imagine yourself back in time!  Competition will take place in the field below the Visitor Center.”  The living history events at Champoeg are always first rate! 

National Astronomy Day Star Party”,  Saturday, May 7, 7:30PM-11:30PM, Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park, $5 parking per vehicle or a State Park pass. “From beginners to experts of all ages, here’s your opportunity to view the stars and other celestial objects up close and personal through telescopes. Viewing highlights includes the planets Jupiter, Mercury, and Saturn, first quarter Moon, deep sky objects including the Orion Nebula, Beehive star cluster and more! Sometimes we can even view the International Space Station passing overhead. There is no formal registration for the event itself, just show up and enjoy the evening. You don’t even need a telescope to participate; other members are enthusiastic to share their views. This is a good opportunity for beginners to get acquainted. Come and observe your favorite objects and spend a wonderful evening with friends, and friends you haven’t met yet.” If you are planning to go, be sure to call 503-797-4610 #2 after 3PM on the day of the Star Party to make sure they’ve determined that the skies are clear enough for this event to happen. This time of year it’s far from a sure thing, but these are wonderful events when they happen! Lots more info here:

Mother’s Day Birding and Wildflower Festival”,  The weekend will be started on Friday, May 6 with an evening owl prowl, continuing Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8, 10AM - 5PM, Silver Falls State Park, South Falls Lodge and surrounding Day use area.  Free, but $5 day use fee per vehicle is required in this state park. “Learn about the native plants and wildflowers that fill Silver Falls’ forest and about the birds who make Silver Falls their year-round and seasonal home.  Participate in hands-on activities, birding & plant walks, family hikes, and informative presentations. View plant displays and purchase your own native plants during our plant sales.”  A complete schedule of activities is here:

Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk”, Sunday, May 8, 10AM-12PM and 2PM-4PM, Tryon Creek State Park, Free, Preregistration required. “Bring your mother to the park for the opportunity to take a guided wild flower walk.”

Gustafer Yellowgold”, Sunday, May 8, 2PM, The Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx.  Tickets $10 per person. “Groovy Gustafer Yellowgold is a small, yellow, cone-headed fellow, who came to Earth from the Sun and has a knack for finding himself neck-deep in absurd situations as he explores his new life in the Minnesota woods. Equal parts pop rock concert and animated storybook, Gustafer Yellowgold concerts are a truly different multimedia experience that entrances children and adults alike. Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock is the first Gustafer Yellowgold show to have a storyline, which follows our hero as he embarks upon an hilarious, mind-bending musical journey in search of the toe-end of the longest sock in the universe.”  Advance tickets here:  We saw a Gustafer Yellowgold show last year, and it was rad! Highly recommended.

Crazy Chemistry-Homeschool Program”, Monday, May 9, 10AM-11:30PM, Mad Science, 1522 N. Ainsworth St., Pdx.  $15 per student. Advance registration required. “Don't just visualize it, this class will lead you through hands-on experimentation with chemical reactions.  You will even make your own sidewalk chalk.”  Jasper has really enjoyed these!

Oregon Ballet Theatre”, Monday, May 9, 12PM, Portland Center for the Performing Arts Antionette Hatfield Hall Rotunda Lobby, 1111 SW Broadway, Pdx.  Free, all ages.  “Oregon Ballet Theatre Apprentices will bring "Ballet Stage by Stage" to the Rotunda lobby. The performance is designed to reveal the training that goes into becoming a professional dancer as well as show some pieces of choreography. The dancers will demonstrate various stages of ballet training, pointing out the development of skill and complexity of key movements. They will highlight movements from beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of ballet. Audience members may come up on the stage and try out some steps, too!”  PCPA's free monthly performances are popular, so my advice is to arrive early to get seats.

Morning Bird Song Walks”, Tuesdays in May, 7AM, Leach Botanical Garden, Free, no preregistration required.  “Meet an Audubon Society leader at 7am in Leach Botanical Garden Administrative Annex parking lot located 6550 SE 122nd Ave (NOT at the Garden Manor House). To get to the Administrative Annex go south on SE 122nd from Foster Rd. for about a block and turn left into the driveway of the white administrative building (looks like a house) just before 122nd veers to the right and down the hill. Bring binoculars and field guide if you have them. Be prepared for the weather, it can be surprisingly cool in the morning shade. Restrooms are limited to the port-a-potty in the upper garden. Steady rain cancels the event. You can depart from the group as needed but please be aware that Leach Botanical Garden is not open to visitors until 9am.”

Trashcan Joe”,  Wednesday, May 11, 2PM, Lake Oswego Library.  “May is Sustainability Action Month for the city of Lake Oswego! So come to the Library to see the fun side of recycling with a performance by Trashcan Joe. Trashcan Joe can be summed up as “ideology based on maximum musical output from recycled minimum input”. Playing with instruments made from recycled and found objects, Trashcan Joe provides a unique sound reminiscent of the early jazz era.”  We love Trashcan Joe!  Their version of Oscar the Grouch’s “I Love Trash” is especially awesome when played on musical instruments made from trashcans.  Trust me on this.

Richard Louv Presentation and Book Signing”,  Wednesday, May 11, 7:30-9PM, Oregon Zoo, Free.  An event for adults which may be of particular interest to homeschoolers. “While Last Child in the Woods explored how modern children are increasingly removed from experiences with nature, a situation Louv dubbed “nature-deficit disorder”, his new title looks at adult lives, often overwhelmed by a reliance on technology and separation from the restorative powers of the natural world.  The solution is the Nature Principle, which he describes in his introduction as ‘the power of living in nature—not with it, but in it. We are entering the most creative period in history. The twenty-first century will be the century of human restoration in the natural world.’ Please join us for an inspirational and thought-provoking evening! Call the Nature Store at 503-292-9453 if you would like a copy of either title reserved ahead of time. This event is co-sponsored by Portland Audubon and the Oregon Zoo, and will be held in the Zoo’s large Cascade Crest meeting room. We’re expecting a big turnout for this free public event. There are no reservations or tickets for admission, so be sure to get there early!”

Tualatin River Bird Festival”, Thursday, May 12-Sunday, May 15.  50 Separate Events!!! “Over 50 lectures, workshops, walks, tours, and hand-on activities are planned from beginning bird walks to special photography paddles along the Tualatin River. 2011 offers the most extensive variety of activities and we can’t wait to see you there!” This is a huge festival with events covering a four day period in a variety of venues.  Some events are free and some are not.  Some are specifically for learning about birds, and others are not! I am finding summarizing it rather daunting, as the variety of what is being offered is rather fabulous.  Please check it out:

12th Annual UFO Festival”, Friday, May 13, and Saturday, May 14, McMenamins Hotel Oregon, McMinnville, OR. “UFO Speakers · Costume Parade · Live Music · Kids’ Fun and more!” See a Complete schedule of events here:

Friday Family Concert with Ezra Weiss”, Friday, May 13, 7:15PM, doors open at 6:45PM, Community Music Center, 3350 SE Francis St., Pdx.   Suggested  donation $5 per person or $15 per family. “Jazz Pianist Ezra Weiss will perform with his quartet.  For more on Ezra Weiss, visit

Guided Bird Walks”, Saturday May 14 and Sunday May 15, 7AM and 9:15AM, Jackson Bottom Wetlands, 2600 SW Hillsboro Hwy., Hillsboro, OR. Free, preregistration required.  “A family-oriented walk for birders of all skill levels.  Limited to 15 people.   Please arrive 15 minutes early so walks can start on time.  No charge but must register by calling Karen at 503-681-6206.”

Attracting Birds to Your Yard”, Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, 2:30PM. Jackson Bottom Wetlands, 2600 SW Hillsboro Hwy., Hillsboro, OR.  Free.

Bald Eagles”, Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, 1PM, Jackson Bottom Wetlands, 2600 SW Hillsboro Hwy., Hillsboro, OR free.  “Learn about these incredible birds with Sarah Pinnock.”

Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour”, Saturday, May 14, 10AM-12PM, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation. “Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland’s founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers’ monument.” Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history.

Easy Snacks Kids And Grownups Can Make”, Friday, May 13, 4PM, Midland Library.  “Cookbook author and food historian Jean Johnson will teach you how to make Quinoa Poppers. Kids of all ages will love making these easy, healthy snacks. Jean will also share snippets on healthy, ultrafast cooking. So come one, come all, and bring your appetite!”

Brick Builders”,  Saturday, May 14. 10:30AM, Beaverton Library.  “Come and make a connection as we create, build and challenge with all things LEGO. Registration is required. Please phone (503)350-3600 to register or sign-up in person at the Children's Desk on the first floor of the library. Registration for each session begins one month before the program.”

Leach Botanical Garden’s Annual Children’s Nature Fair”,  Saturday, May 14. 10AM-2PM, Admission $2 per child, adults  free.  “Children of all ages are invited to spend a fun day exploring Leach Botanical Garden and learning about northwest plants and animals. Meet the critters that tidy up the forest floor and keep streams healthy. Cheer on your favorite in the annual Banana Slug Races. Enjoy a variety of hands-on activities sponsored by local environmental organizations.”

Corn Husk Figurines”, Saturday, May 14, Sellwood-Moreland Library, and Saturday, May 21, 2PM, Northwest Library.  “This hands-on workshop explores native Mexican arts and crafts and the importance of corn in cultural celebrations. Under the instruction of Nelda Reyes and Gerardo Calderon, participants will craft and decorate their own flowers made out of corn husks. Aztec and Mexican theory of origin sees corn as the element that sustains the essence of all creation.”

Parlor of Wonders Magic Show”, Saturday, May 14, 10:30, Albina Library.  “This strikingly visual magic show is filled with wonder, laughs, music, 19th century styling, audience participation and real magic tricks! Magician Tim Alexander will make objects appear, disappear, reappear and multiply. This program combines mystery, comedy and sleight-of-hand to create a uniquely entertaining and unforgettable magical experience!”

Steve’s Creature Feature”, Saturday, May 14, 12PM, Rockwood Library.  “Explore the amazing world of reptiles with Steve!”  This show is definitely a winner.  I highly recommend getting there early.

Go Wild- Go Birding!”, Saturday, May 14, 10AM-3PM, Tryon Creek State Park.  Free.  “International Migratory Bird Day celebrates and brings attention to one of the most important and spectacular events in the Americas - bird migration. Join the staff and volunteers at Tryon Creek State Natural area both on the trails and around the nature center for a celebration of birds.  10-12pm - Guided hikes for adults and children.  We will be leading two tours; adults can check out our nest tour for a guided hike that will stop at different nesting locations throughout the park; children will make some crafty binoculars and take them out on the trails to try their hand at Bird Habitat Bingo.  1-3pm - Demonstrations: Pellet dissection, bird feeders, mounts and more!  You can visit demonstrations in the Jackson Shelter and Nature Center to learn about owl pellets, bird feeders, local bird adaptations and more!”

It’s A Blast:  Volcano Science In Your Backyard”, Saturday, May 14, 10AM-4PM, Johnston Ridge Observatory, Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.  Adults $8, kids 15 and under are free.  “Join the Mount St. Helens Institute for a day of science and discovery in the blast zone of the Cascade’s most active volcano. The day will be full of fun including a kids corner, elk spotting 101, guided hikes, interpretive talks, ‘Ask a Scientist’ booth, screenings of the award-winning 1980 eruption movie and so much more!”  Tickets sold in advance:

Lee Highway”, Saturday, May 14, 2PM, Wilsonville Library.  These guys are  a very well regarded local bluegrass band, and this may be their final performance!

Mudeye Puppets and Professor Banjo”, Saturday, May 14, 3:30 PM, Taborspace, 5441 Southeast Belmont St.,  $8. “Two engaging Portland performers team up to share a wonderful interactive evening with kids and families. There will be pre-show coloring sheets, a puppet performance of Deepsy Diver by the Mudeye Puppet Company, and interactive music and dance by Professor Banjo followed by a ‘Meet and Greet’ to see the Mudeye Puppets and Professor Banjo's instruments up close and personal. This all takes place in the comfy-cozy Taborspace community coffee house!”

Kids In Nature:  Coyotes”, Sunday, May 15, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park, $10.  Suggested for kids 4-7. “From scat to tracks, the presence of coyotes in the park is clear.  Join the friends as we learn about these special creatures through stories and crafts.  We’ll also learn to distinguish their tracks from domesticated dogs.  Out on the trails we’ll find evidence of coyotes as we learn more about their habits.”  The Kids In Nature program is truly fabulous.

Wild Foods of Jessup Bluff”, Sunday, May 15, 1PM-4PM, meeting at the entrance near 3105 N. Willamette Blvd., Pdx.  $24 for adults, children 7-17 pay their age, children 0-6 are free, $3 discount for adult family members attending together, Native Americans, Scout leaders, and full time college students.   Preregistration required.  “Join wild food expert and author John Kallas to explore edible and poisonous plants in one of Portland’s most diverse and unique landscapes. See and sample from plants you pass by everyday and others you'll find regularly. Most of these plants can be found in your own neighborhoods, fields, and local woodlands. Learn identification, use, and processing of fennel, chicory, black mustard, knotweed, wild sweet pea, bull thistle and many others.” Mr. Kallas is a true local treasure!

A Celebration of Woodpeckers”, Sunday, May 15, 2PM-4PM, Tryon Creek State Park, free, registration required to insure a spot.  “Join us for an afternoon of experiences focused on learning about our wood-working residents – the Woodpeckers of Tryon Creek.  Visit the Trillium Trail between 2:00 and 4:00 for activities featuring these industrious inhabitants of forest. Winners of the 2011 Daryle Seil Tall Tale Contest “Why Woodpecker Must Make Holes” will be reading their stories in the Nature Center.”

Na Mesa”,  Monday, May 16, 6:30PM, West Linn Public Library.  “Na Mesa is an eclectic ensemble that plays original and world music. They specialize in a lively style called choro, one of the earliest genres unique to urban Brazil. The intricate rhythms and beautiful melodies are rendered with a unique instrumentation, featuring some of Portland’s finest musicians. From break- neck tempos to smoldering serenades, Na Mesa produces an irresistible groove.”

Norwegian Independence Day”, Tuesday, May 17, Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th Ave., Pdx.  Doors open at 4PM and parade starts at 6PM.  Free.  “Authentic Norwegian food, music and dance performances, flags and Nordic treasures on sale.  Grand Flag Parade rain or shine, featuring traditional costumes, Norwegian fjord horses, vintage cars, a marching band, and more.”

Evening Canoe In The Slough”, Wednesday, May 18, 6PM and 7PM, Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, 7040 NE 47th Ave., Pdx. “Join the Columbia Slough Watershed Council and NW Discoveries for a guided canoe trip on the Slough. Extra-stable canoe bimarans with guides are safe for infants and grandparents. All equipment is provided. A $5 donation for equipment maintenance is greatly appreciated.”  Registration required, register online or get more info here:

Pioneer Family Festival”, Friday, May 20- Sunday, May 22. Clackamette Park, 1955 Clackamette Dr., Oregon City.  First and foremost this is a carnival, but check out the Heritage Preservation Area: “If History is your thing- you will love the Pioneer Family Festival History Area. The Pioneer Family Festival will be celebrating National Heritage Preservation Month. We have invited Living History Interpreters, Historians, Heritage Organizations and Museums to share the History of Oregon with the public. “  In addition, they will have a live graffiti-style art demonstration: “Don’t miss Aeroswal, another great new addition to the Pioneer Family Festival. Aeroswal is a live aerosol art show and demonstration by some very talented urban artists. Watch several artists including Oregon City artist’s Dizzy and Jabiru attack a huge white wall with aerosol cans creating an amazing work of art. Watch the artist’s May 21st-22nd from Noon to 5:00 p.m.”

Dozer Days”, Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, 11AM-4PM, Cemex/Fisher Quarry, on the west side of the 192nd and Brady Road intersection, Vancouver, WA.  Adults $7, Kids 2-12 $5, kids under 2 are free.  Purchasing tickets ahead of time online is recommended to avoid very long lines.  “Dozer Day is like going to a fair only our rides are real heavy construction equipment.  Kids hop in the driver's seat and actually drive big yellow dozers, dump trucks and other heavy equipment with a professional operator at their side. Not only is it a dream come true for kids (and fun for the whole family), the event also benefits many local, children's charities.”

Mudeye Puppets Presents, “Vel-Crow and Hazel’s Wacky World”, Saturday, May 21. 4PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. $8 adults, $5 kids. “Come join us at Mississippi Pizza for the world premier of our brand new show! Watch Vel the Crow and Hazel Kanga-roon, set out on an exciting world tour to sing the praises of creative reuse and learn about other cultures. Their journey is full of imaginative characters, lively sing-a-longs and some interesting facts about how to make things from recycled materials, like toys! Join them in their homemade flying machine for the ultimate puppet adventure. Stick around after the show to see the puppets up close and learn how they are made. All puppets are made from recycled materials, like cardboard and bike tubes!”

What’s Blooming on the Refuge”, Saturday, May 21, 8AM-10AM, Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR.  Free. “Join Refuge Volunteer Botanist, Ginny Maffitt to discover what's blooming and learn how native plants are vital to healthy wildlife habitats. We encourage you to bring cameras and plant identification guides if you have them. Binoculars are always handy for those "watchable wildlife" moments. Plant enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to attend. To register, contact Sarah at 503.625.5944 x234.”

Marianne Richmond reads The Night Night Book”,  Saturday, May 21, 10AM. Barnes and Noble, 18300 NW Evergreen Pkwy, Beaverton, OR. “Barnes & Noble invites everyone to a very special Storytime, hosted by author Marianne Richmond.”

Build A Terrarium”, Saturday, May 21, 2PM, Gregory Heights Library, and Thursday, June 23, 2PM, Belmont Library. “Make a miniature garden inside a glass container! Join professional gardener Ruth Hampton and build a terrarium with the beautiful sedum flower. Learn all about taking care of your plants and watch them grow! For children in grades K-5.”

Who’s In Hare’s House”, Saturday, May 21, 11AM, Capitol Hill Library.  Free tickets will be given out at 10:30AM. “This enchanting play, performed by Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre, is based on a Bantu folktale from East Africa about Sungura the hare. Upon arriving home, Sungura finds there is an unwelcomed visitor in his house. Find out how he and his animal friends help him drive this ‘monster’ out!”

What’s It Like To Be Homeless?”, Saturday, May 21, 1PM, Central Library US Bank Room. This talk is for adults but respectful children are not excluded.  This is part of a series called “Mile In My Shoes”. “You know you can borrow all sorts of things from the library, but how about borrowing someone else's shoes? We invite you to check out a fresh perspective and get the answer to the question, "what's it like to be someone else?" Hear from people who may be very unlike yourself, ask questions and satisfy your curiosity. Moderated by Emily Harris, host of Think Out Loud, OPB's daily public affairs talk show. Terris Harned is 32 years old, bipolar, and a student of life. He has been experiencing houselessness off and on for 9 years.”

LEGO® Construction Zone”, Sunday, May 22, 1:30PM, Tigard Library Puett Room.  Suggested for ages 5 and up.  “Drop in to work on your creations with other LEGO® fans. We’ll supply the building blocks; you bring your creativity.”

This nature-related activity is only for adults, but I just have to mention it.  “Taxidermy 101”, Sunday, May 22, 1-4PM, Tryon Creek State Park, $10.  Why mention it?  Because how often to I get to use  one of my favorite sayings, that “amateur” and “taxidermy” are two words that are scary to hear in the same sentence!?!

Powell Butte Bird Walk”, Sunday, May 22, 8AM-11AM.  Free.  “Join naturalist Elaine Murphy and host Clackamas Backyard Bird Shop for a free tour of this unique Portland natural area and discover the birds and wildlife of Powell Butte Nature Park. One of Portland’s extinct volcanoes, Powell Butte, features meadows, wild hawthorns and cedar groves, that provide a home to a variety of species. This expert-guided walk amid the slopes of Powell Butte will cover slopes and meadows of Powell Butte so be prepared for some ascending to lofty views of several raptor species and on clear days, Mt Hood. We’ll meet at the Clackamas Bird Shop (8960 SE Sunnyside Rd., Clackamas) at 8 a.m.  Advance reservations are required; call 503-496-0908.”

Morning Bird Walk at Nadaka Nature Park”,  Friday, May 27, 7:30AM, free, beginning at the north entrance to Nadaka Nature Park located along NE Pacific Street between NE 175th and 176th in Gresham.  “Join Jim Labbe with the Audubon Society of Portland and Lee Dayfield with Wilkes East Neighborhood Association for a morning stroll through Nakada Nature Park in West Gresham. We’ll explore the natural and human history of this unique neighborhood nature park and learn about efforts afoot to expand the park, improve access and environmental interpretation, and enhance its wildlife habitat. We’ll also begin the documenting of bird species inhabiting the park and discuss the value of urban natural areas to avian biodiversity.”

Portland Rose Festival” opening Friday, May 27 with a fireworks show, and ending June 19!  Check here for details:

Painted Turtle Walks”, Saturday, May 28. 1PM-2:30PM, Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area, 5300 N. Marine Dr., Pdx. Free. Advance Registration required, call 503-797-1650 option 2. “Oregon’s turtles are rare, shy and hard to find, but Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area is home to one of the largest populations of Western painted turtles in Oregon. See these beautiful reptiles with the help of Metro naturalist James Davis, who provides small telescopes for a close look. Suitable for ages 5 and older. Meet in the parking lot on North Marine Drive.” This is an excellent talk.  Smith and Bybee is a gorgeous spot where painted turtles are sure to be seen sunning themselves in the warmer months whenever the sun comes out!

Killin Wetlands, Pacific University Bird Walk”, Saturday, May 28, 8AM-11AM.  Free.  “Seek elusive marsh birds and Acorn Woodpeckers on this free expert-guided bird walk with Elaine Murphy to Killin Wetlands and Pacific University. This walk offered by the Beaverton Backyard Bird Shop features one of the largest remaining peat wetlands in the Willamette Valley. The rare organic peat soil wetlands of the area provide a home to unique species of plants and animals including bittern, rails, and sora.  Nearby we’ll search for Acorn Woodpecker and songbirds amid Pacific University’s stately groves of Oregon White Oak. We’ll meet at the Beaverton Backyard Bird Shop (11429 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Beaverton) at 8:00 am, and then carpool to the start of the walk.  Advance reservations are required; call 503-626-0949.”

May 30 is Memorial Day. The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs generally posts a pretty comprehensive list of events throughout Oregon, and their website says the list will be posted by May 2.

Gardening With Young’ns”,  Tuesday, May 31, 6:30-8PM, One Stop Sustainability Shop, 1468 NE Alberta St., Pdx.  $10.  For adults, but may be of particular interest to homeschoolers. “As a parent, grandparent, teacher, mentor, or other caregiver, working together in the garden is one of the best ways to get active and stay healthy while connecting with your younger counterparts. This class will cover basic best practices for gardening across age gaps.”  Preregistration will guarantee you a spot: