Native Plant & Insect Walk with Expert Charley Eiseman at Thomas & Palmer Brook, Great Barrington

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Each native plant species has a suite of insects that depend on it for food. In addition to the conspicuous ones that visit flowers or eat leaves in plain sight, there are many that are hidden from view. Many herbivorous insects are so specific in their habits that they can be identified to species by examining the evidence they leave on their host plants, without ever seeing the animals themselves. Signs of highly host-specific insects are sometimes so distinctive that they can also help us identify the plants they are found on. On this walk at BNRC’s Thomas & Palmer Brook reserve, we will explore many of these fascinating plant-insect interactions. Be prepared to move slowly and study very small things—the less ground we cover, the more we will see! 

Charley Eiseman is a freelance naturalist based in western Massachusetts. He has been conducting plant and wildlife surveys and natural resource inventories throughout New England for over 20 years, as well as teaching courses and workshops. He holds an MS in Botany (Field Naturalist) from the University of Vermont and a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management from the University of Massachusetts. Charley is the author of multiple books. He has also published over 50 scientific papers on insect natural history, including the description of over 75 new species. 

This event is in partnership with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council: The Landkeepers 

RSVP to Charlotte at (Up to 12 participants) NOTE: PROGRAM FULL, rsvp to but put on the waiting list 

Trail details 

Easy; Accessible (0.5 mile of 6-foot-wide crushed stone surfacing with a gentle slope). Please leave your four-legged friends at home for this walk. 


Parking area is located between 301 and 309 State Road (Route 23) in Great Barrington. Across from the Koi Restaurant. 

GPS: 42.1955, -73.3370 (frontage on Route 23) 

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