Read on the Wild Side begins with The Soul of an Octopus

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness
by Sy Montgomery

“Read on the Wild Side” presents a discussion of The Soul of an Octopus on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 1 PM at The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. In this entertaining read, author Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus, and raises interesting questions about animal intelligence. According to Science Friday of NPR, is it “…one of the best science books of the year”.

The discussion is free and open to the public. Call 508-896-3867 for information.


Friends Annual Meeting Report

After the usual pot luck lunch, Friends president Bill Barber held the business meeting which quickly went through the minutes, treasurer’s report, and passing of new by-laws amendments.  New members of the board were voted on and welcomed, including new vice president Alice Berry and new members at large Anne Best, Ruth Cortnell, Jan Evans, and Lois Katanik.

Myles Marcus, Alison Rilling, and President Bill Barber enjoy the potluck

Thanks went out to people for the various jobs done over the year, with special thanks to Myles Marcus for organizing trips and Alison Rilling for all her work on Gardening for Life.

CCMNH Executive Director Bob Dwyer gave the annual state of the museum address

CCMNH executive director Bob Dwyer was introduced and gave an update on the work of the museum over the past year.  He said that he had thought 2016 would be a smooth sailing year after several years of getting things in place. That hope was short lived as the Butterfly House project popped up soon into the new year. Although it required lots of work to get it up and running, the butterfly house and pollinator path have proved a great success and real attraction for the museum.

Nancy Wigley and new vice president Alice Berry read the bylaws

Bob outlined a number of activities – Mud Flat Mania, Owl Eyes, Green Halloween, miniature golf, and others as particularly well attended, with estimated overall attendance at the Museum at almost 50,000 people.  He talked about continuing to explore cooperation with the Audubon and Green Briar organizations for shared resources and grant funding.  The projects associated with biomimicry are dear to his heart and he looked forward to using new technology to enhance the educational offerings at the museum.

Friends Board of Directors, Front row: Julie O’Neill, Bill Barber, George Tyner, Back Row: Fred Bukowski, Myles Marcus, Anne Best, Jan Evans, Ruth Cortnell, Alice Berry, Lois Katanik, Alison Rilling

Bob also hoped that the Friends would be open to fund raising possibilities as well as continuing its programming, social activities and volunteering.  He made a special point of saying how the Museum couldn’t operate without its many volunteers.

Dee Anson helps Friends renew their memberships for 2017



Holiday Party Highlights

Friends setting up

Friends setting up


The party begins

Bill Barber

Bill Barber


Miles and Sue Marcus, Gayle and Al Williams


Doug and Nancy Smith


Nancy Wigley receives a pin from Theresa Izzo honoring her 25 years of volunteering


President Bill Barber introduces the entertainment

Chatham Chorale Chamber Group Performs

Chatham Chorale Chamber Group Performs


The party winds down


Fall Clean Up

In mid-November the Rosa rugosa in front of the Museum was subjected to its annual fall haircut, and a  few days later the indefatigable worker bees of Gardening For Life met to trim the edges.  Our goal:  to tidy the gravel terrace by cutting back the insidious vines and weeds that have crept out from the wall of R. rugosa toward the picnic tables.

We poked at some vines and roots;  tugged and scraped away at some grasses and unidentified green things;  rescued a few self-seeded columbines;  unearthed several outposts of native prickly pear cactus;  and reluctantly admitted that even just tidying the edges is a bigger project than a few ladies of a certain age could handle.

So we have put off the Rosa Rugosa Project until the heat of the summer sun can help us in our efforts.  Meanwhile, we are busy planning the Gardening For Life Speaker Series and getting ready for the annual Plant Sale and Native Plant Marketplace on June 3!
Pam Turnbull, Ann Harris and Jan Evans cheerfully attack the weeds and vines that are creeping into the picnic area.
When a tangle of bittersweet and thorny smilax was raked away, this volunteer prickly pear cactus was revealed. Assuming it’s our native Opuntia humifusa, we plan to dig it up in the spring and move it to a visible but hard-to-reach spot — away from little fingers.

Friends November Membership Meeting

Steve McKenna, Cape Cod & Islands Regional Coordinator for the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, presented a program called Planning for Change: Efforts to Help Communities be More Resilient at the November 2016 monthly meeting of the Friends.

Steve McKenna, Fred Budreski

Steve McKenna and Fred Budreski share a laugh while Bob Smith works the controls in the background.



The Friends of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History has long played a major role in the life of the Museum. Originally started as a fundraising group, the Friends has evolved into an organization that supports the Museum’s mission in numerous ways – fiscal, educational, promotional. A large part of our mission is to build community among the Museum’s volunteers.

That’s why we’ve started this website.  We hope it will serve as a sort of community bulletin board, a place to share information on the events, issues and people that make CCMNH such a vibrant and beloved place, behind the scenes as well as in the public eye.

And it’s another place for you to volunteer! If you’d like to be involved in putting friendsofccnh.org together, let us know.  We need ideas and suggestions.  And we need photos – we’d love to post pictures you’ve taken around the museum grounds, the mudflats, the trails, or elsewhere on the Cape.

Questions? Contact us at friendsofccmnh@gmail.com