Over the course of a year at Conway, students handle lots of different plants, animals, tools, and materials of all kinds. The things students hold in their hands help tell a visual story of their year.

Here is a handful of things Conway students held last year:

  • Trillium and frog eggs.

L: The time of year when spring ephemerals begin to appear is always special; here, a trillium. (photo: Robbe Verhofste ’19) R: While visiting a vernal pool in Wendell State Forest with ecologist Bill Lattrell, students were lucky enough to encounter this MASS of frog eggs. (photo: Amanda Hawes ’19)

  • Shovels, spades, sketchbooks, and pens.

L: SHOVEL. Digging in at the school’s new home at the Coach House in Northampton. (photo: Lili Elena ’19) R: SKETCHBOOK. Students almost always have a trusty sketchbook and pen in hand. (photo: Lisa Krause ’19)

  • Plant material and salamanders.

L: PLANT MATERIAL. Field trips to study local ecology take place year-round. Even in the cold weather, there’s a great deal to observe in the field. (photo: Lisa Krause ’19); R: SALAMANDER. On wet spring nights, salamanders emerge from under rocks and logs and make their way to vernal pools. (photo: Robbe Verhofste ’19)

  • Nets and mud.

L: NET. For catching…hmm…what is that? It’s always good to be prepared in the field. (photo: Lili Elena ’19); R: MUD. There’s nothing like getting your hands dirty to start to understand the soil ecology of a place. (photo: Amanda Hawes ’19)

  • Cameras and a friendly studio pup.

L: CAMERA. You never know when you might need to document a mama bear and her cubs hanging out in a tree…(photo: Lisa Krause ’19); R: FRODO. Frodo visited the studio most weeks throughout the year, and very much enjoyed his role. (photo: Lili Elena ’19)

  • Wooden spoons and cordless drills.

L: WOODEN SPOON. Most Tuesday nights, students prepare a group meal to enjoy with a visiting speaker. (photo: Lili Elena ’19); R: CORDLESS DRILL. Bo Carpen ’19 helps transform a parking spot in downtown Florence into a parklet for National PARK(ing) Day 2019. (photo: Robbe Verhofste ’19)

  • Soil samplers and umbrellas.

L: SOIL AUGER. Robbe Verhofste ’19 gathers soil for a sample. (photo: courtesy Robbe Verhofste ’19); R: UMBRELLA. Something Conway students have in common with the U.S. Post Office – neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays them from heading out into the field. (photo: Lili Elena ’19)

  • Hand lenses and plant material.

L: HAND LENS. In case you need to take a very close look at an interesting plant – a pitcher plant or sundew at the Hawley Bog, for example. (photo: Lisa Krause ’19); R: KNOTWEED. This handful of young knotweed is bound for a knotweed pie – and it was delicious! (photo: Lili Elena ’19)

  • Presentation boards and candles.

L: PRESENTATION BOARD. Right from the get-go, students are prepared to make presentations on the spot. (This photo, by Kate Cholakis ’11, happens to be at Pulaski Park in downtown Northampton during the first week of school.); R: CANDLE. This one was lit for the fifth night of Hannukkah. Others graced birthday cakes and pies. (photo: Eric Giordano ’19)