New England Habitats

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Get a feel for New England's natural environment with these classic dioramas. With windows into wide-ranging landscapes, model birds, casts of feet, antlers, beaks, and other touchable elements, this exhibit is an interactive experience for all curious visitors.

Observe deciduous woods, salty beaches, ocean cliffs, and other New England habitats, and see how they look, sound, feel, and smell. Hear the sound of a beaver smacking its tail against the water in alarm, and learn how some wildlife adaptations resemble human tools.

See representations of the Katahdin woods, the Maine coast, Crane Beach, Wildcat Mountain, New Hampshire's Squam Lake, and the Green Mountains of Vermont, which are all located within a 150-mile radius, but vary in climate, vegetation, and wildlife.

Artist Francis Lee Jaques, famous for his ability to blend background paintings seamlessly with three-dimensional foregrounds, painted many of these along with several other Museum dioramas.

When he was on lunch break, Jaques' wife sometimes snuck into the hall and painted little, hidden gremlins into his backgrounds. Look for her handiwork in the Crane Beach diorama!

Photos © Larry Ralph, © Emily Roose

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