Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (April 8, 2022) – At Crossroads at Big Creek this time of year, we think about eggs. We aren’t alone. Eggs are significant in the commemorations of several religious holidays. And for years, it has been a Crossroads tradition to offer programs about eggs. So on Saturday, April 16, we will hold EGGStravanza at 10:00am, our Saturday Science Program at 2:00pm with be EGGSperiments, and at 3:30pm we will screen the hilarious, yet informative, the documentary “Mad City Chickens.”
Saturday will also be the kick-off of Habitat Healers, the weekly volunteer program supporting our Restoration Initiative. This year’s restoration efforts will start at 9:30am at the Workshop. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend. Gloves, equipment, instruction and refreshments will be provided.
Many creatures lay eggs in one form or another, and the eggs laid by birds vary greatly. Owl eggs are almost perfectly round. The eggs of shorebirds are pointed at one end. Ocean birds that balance their nests precariously on steep ledges tend to lay pear-shape eggs, which, because the weight is concentrated on one end, are unlikely to roll off cliffs.
When it comes to colored eggs, nature did it first. Everyone knows that robins have blue eggs. Catbird eggs are green. Eggs of golden eagles are red. The eggs of long-billed marsh wrens look just like tiny chocolate eggs.
The iconic chicken egg shape is structurally beautiful. Consider that the thin shell must be strong enough to protect the embryonic chick from being squashed by a setting hen. Yet, it must be easily breakable, or else the baby chicks could not hatch.
The shell is remarkable in another way. It allows oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass in and out. In a fertilized egg, the unborn chick is supplied with oxygen by blood vessels which come in contact with the air passing through the shell. Then, as incubation progresses, the egg loses some of its water. An air space develops between the two layers of membrane in the shell lining. Shortly before hatching, the developing chick pushes its beak into the air space and begins to breathe.
Although store-bought eggs are unfertilized, they still develop the air space. The greater the elapsed time between laying and boiling, the larger the air space will be. And the flatter the end of the boiled egg will be.
During EGGStravaganza, participants will break eggs, dissect eggs, try to roll eggs, toss eggs and even drop eggs from the upper level windows of the Collins Learning Center, all in an effort to gain appreciation for eggs and birds….and oh, yeah, have fun. And perhaps, pet a friendly hen named Zoe.
Our weekly family program, Science Saturday will feature EGGSperiments, during which participants will use the eggs that survive the morning festivities to conduct a few more experiments.
Finally, at 3:30pm, we will screen Mad City Chickens, a feature-length documentary about urban backyard chickens. The “mad” in the title refers to Madison, Wisconsin where a number of citizens are involved in sustainably raising chickens. The film is informative and at times, very funny, and would be appropriate for all ages. Free and open to the public.
Start your celebration of Earth Weekend by attending the Sturgeon Bay screening of the documentary “Kiss the Ground’” on Thursday, April 21 at 6:30pm. To significantly mitigate the climate crisis, there are a lot of problems humans need to solve. One of the biggest problems is right under your feet: the soil. Narrated by Woody Harrelson and featuring music from your favorite avocado farmer Jason Mraz, the star-studded film explains why transitioning to regenerative agriculture could be key in rehabilitating the planet, while simultaneously invigorating a new sense of hope and inspiration in viewers. Collins Learning Center. Free and open to the public. For a link to join remotely, email email@example.com with “Kiss the Ground” in the subject line.
Crossroads at Big Creek Learning Center and Nature Preserve is located at 2041 Michigan. Crossroads is a 501(c)3 organization committed to offering education, conducting research, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support! Become a member of Crossroads by mailing a contribution to P.O. Box 608, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235, or donate online at crossroadsatbigcreek.org. Masks are recommended inside building.