The Christmas tree has gone for recycling (or put in the attic), and you’re probably already making entries in the new 2013 calendar you got for Christmas.
How about using it to make note of some opportunities to learn something new during the first part of this year?
Several groups have already announced learning opportunities for this month, February and March. Here’s a sampling (and you can watch for other opportunities as they pop up in The Gleaner’s Sunday FYI calendar):
egetable Gardening 101
The Henderson County Cooperative Extension Service will host a program on “Vegetable Gardening 101” on Jan. 16.
Henderson County Extension Master Gardener Brenda Hester will teach the class that will cover the basic principles of home vegetable gardening. The class will take place at noon and 6 p.m. at the Henderson County Cooperative Extension Expo and Education Center.
Choose which time works better for you. The class is free and open to anyone interested. Call 826-8387 to sign up by Jan. 14.
Help with the books
Henderson County Public Library will offer “Introduction to QuickBooks” this Tuesday. The class will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Valerie Gentry of Kemper CPA Group will teach participants how to set up and use the program for home or business, including creating bank accounts, tracking expenses, paying bills, writing and printing checks and backing up and restoring files.
There is a $10 class fee due at the time of registration, which can be done at the library, 101 S. Main St.
Call of the wild
Want to learn more about owls and other birds?
Audubon State Park and Wild Birds Unlimited are offering free “Owl Prowls” today and Jan. 20 from 3:30 p.m. to dark and again on Feb. 3 and Feb. 17 from 4 p.m. to dark.
Participants should meet at the main boat ramp/information station at Bluegrass Fish and Wildlife Area, which is located in Warrick County, Ind., about a half-mile east of the Boonville-New Harmony Road / Interstate 164 interchange. That is Exit 15.)
Birds that may be seen include short-eared owls, great horned owls, prairie merlins, rough-legged hawks, northern Harriers, bald eagles and red-tailed hawks.
Participants should bring cameras and binoculars or viewing scopes and should dress warmly.
For more information, contact Audubon Park Naturalist Julie McDonald at 826-2247 or email her at email@example.com.
Speaking of bald eagles …
Eagle Watch Weekends will return to three western Kentucky state parks — Kentucky Dam Village at Gilbertsville, Lake Barkley at Cadiz and Kenlake at Aurora — this month and in February.
The park system will sponsor this wildlife-watching opportunity as bald eagles gather around the major lakes of western Kentucky looking for food.
For four decades, Kentucky State Parks have offered Eagle Watch Weekends, a chance to view the eagles from land and water and learn about the national symbol and other wildlife.
The Eagle Watch Weekends at Kentucky Dam Village, Lake Barkley and Kenlake will include an option to view eagles from the CQ Princess, a 96-foot yacht. Guests can view eagles from inside the CQ Princess or from outside decks.
The tours will be available by excursion yacht or van and will be led by state park naturalists and Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists. Ticket prices for the tours range from $25 to $50 a person.
Most tours last from two to 3½ hours. The weekends also include an evening program on birds of prey.
Guests should bring warm clothes, rain gear and binoculars. These trips can take place under extreme weather conditions. The resorts offer lodges, cottages and restaurants.
Registration is required for the Eagle Watch Weekends. Call the parks for registration, details and fee information or visit www.parks.ky.gov and click on the winter adventure tab.
Beginning Bridge Class
The Henderson County Public Library will be offering a Beginners Bridge Class, instructed by Joseph Hendon, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings beginning the week of Jan. 15 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
It is an eight-week class, and it will conclude March 7. There is a $20 registration fee due at the time of registration that covers materials required for the class.
For more information, call 826-3712 or stop by the library during operating hours to sign up.
Just for Tots
Audubon State Park is offering two types of programs for ages 3 to 5: The “Walk on the Wild Side” nature program and the “Little Rembrandts” art program.
“Walk on the Wild Side” meets in the Bird Observation Center and each topic helps toddlers discover how wildlife and nature shapes the world we live in. The programs involve games, crafts, live animal visits, hikes and songs.
The next program at 10 a.m. Jan. 25 has the theme “Groundhog Day Dilemma.” The program fee is $2.
For information, contact Audubon Park Naturalist Julie McDonald at 826-2247 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The “Little Rembrandts” program coordinated by art educator Kim McGrew-Liggett meets on the first Friday of the month at 10:30 a.m. in the museum.
Children must be accompanied by an adult and preregistration is required.
The theme for Feb. 1 is “Hearts for Me & You” and the theme for March 1 is “Funny Bunnies.”
The program fee is $5 per class.
Want to make beer?
Ruby Moon Vineyard & Winery will offer a Home Beer Making Class on Jan. 19.
Local home brewer Woody Dagner will be the instructor for the class, which will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Topics will include all the steps required from the start of fermentation to bottling.
The cost of the class is $25 per person. Registration is required. Call the winery at 830-7660 to register.
The winery is located at 9566 U.S. 41-Alternate, south of Henderson.
All about bees
Paul and Betsy Stone of Stone Hill Honey will offer a program called “Honeybees: A Sweet Success” on Jan. 26 at the Audubon State Park museum.
The two-hour program will start at 10 a.m. with “The History and Biology of the Honeybee” by Betsy and will continue at 11 a.m. with “Survival of the Honeybee and How We Can Help” by Paul.
Weather permitting, an observation hive will provide a look at up-close honeybee behavior. Samples of honey from around Kentucky will be available for tasting to show what the honeybees make in other areas and how the taste is affected by the variety of nectar sources. The Stones have been beekeeping for 12 years at their farm on Hatchett Mill Road.
The program is free.