Not spring chickens, but their art springs forth

Laura Stover
Laura Stover’s oil “Chasing through Dew’’ will be on display during the Saltbox Gallery’s 29th spring show, April 7 through 9 at the Topsfield Fairgrounds.

THIRTEEN ARTISTS UNDER ONE ROOF Check out the Saltbox Gallery’s 29th annual Spring show through Sunday, April 9. It will fill Topsfield Fairground’s Coolidge Hall with up to 60 varied pieces of work made by 13 members, aged 63 to 93 (with a few younger ones, too).

See the work of a mother and daughter who have painted together since the latter’s childhood, a hunter-outdoorsman’s life-sized animal sculpture, a jeweler’s meticulous stitching of thousand-bead necklaces into sculptural forms, and more.

This year’s new “Call for Art” lets those interested in buying a painting, say, of a sailboat, e-mail — and all members will bring relevant pieces for a client viewing at no obligation.


Admission and parking are free. The show runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There’s a silent auction at 3 p.m. Sunday. The Topsfield Fairgrounds is located at 207 Boston St. (Route 1 north). Preview the artists at

Patrick Herron
Time to help the Mystic River Watershed Association count herring as the fish stage their annual spring migration.
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1 FISHY, 2 FISHY Have problems sleeping? Try counting fish. Thousands.

Join the Mystic River Watershed Association for its annual spring counting of herring as thousands migrate from the ocean through the freshwater habitat of the Mystic River, passing through the fish ladder at the Mystic Lakes Dam in Medford on the way to the lakes and beyond.

Last year, volunteers observed a record-setting run estimated at nearly 500,000 herring that spawned, or laid eggs. The collected data is then used to form trends across the state.

Once abundant during Colonial days, the river’s herring population has declined drastically over the past 20 years.


Volunteering requires only 10 minutes a week (during an assigned 1-hour time slot from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m). Counting takes place daily through June. No previous experience or knowledge is needed. Training is provided. Monitors must be able to swim and be 18 years old or older. Youth aged 12 to 17 may assist under the direct supervision of a guardian.

Visit or e-mail

Mike Dean
Prospective students can sit in on a class during Northern Essex Community College’s “College for a Day’’ event.

SNEAK PEEK INTO COLLEGE If the possibility of attending college feels daunting, why not “give it the old college try” — for one day?

Northern Essex Community College is welcoming high school students and adults to an insider’s look during its annual “College for a Day” event, held Wednesday, April 12 at the Haverhill campus and again May 3 at the Lawrence campus. Both sessions run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sit in on college-level courses, speak with current students, tour the campuses, even meet with admissions staff to get your application process started.


The free event is open to the public. To learn more or register, call 978-556-3721 or visit

EGG-CELLENT ADVENTURE Say “bye-bye” to cold weather and “hello” spring when the Trustees of Reservations’ Appleton Farms in Ipswich holds its “Egg-cellent” Quest Saturday, April 15.

Follow the journey from egg to chicken as you explore the farm, collecting colorful Easter eggs at different stations along the way. Get close-up views of all the new chicks, bunnies, and calves on the farm. There will be homemade refreshments and games.

The quest is recommended for children ages 8 and under. It begins at 10 a.m. Please arrive between 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Bring your own basket to collect the Quest eggs. Pre-registration is required: Cost is $24 for Trustees member families; $30 nonmember families.

Lindsay Brandt
Hometown singer-songwriter Hayley Reardon comes home to perform at the me & thee coffeehouse in Marblehead.

HOMETOWN HONEY RETURNS Marblehead singer-songwriter, Hayley Reardon, returns home to the me & thee coffeehouse Friday, April 14 at 8 p.m.

Currently a college student in Nashville, Reardon’s latest recording, “Good,” has received rave reviews and reflects the maturation of a young artist whose rich, contemplative style resembles that of Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Doors open 7:30 p.m. Tickets ($18 in advance, $21 at the door, $10 students) are available at For information, call 781-631-8987. The coffeehouse is located at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 28 Mugford St.

Kathy Shiels Tully can be reached at