The Gould Outing Club Lives On

May 1, 2020
Zach shooting for Outing Club with a big lens!
Zach in his element

Zach Schmolka ’22 is at home in Portsmouth, NH, birding by bike rides in the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Recently he sent us some photos and insight about being in the Gould Outing Club while sheltering at home.


For the last few weeks, besides school work, I’ve tried my best to stick to a “Gould Schedule” meaning that I’ve tried to be active in clubs and activities. As a part of the Outing Club, I’ve been going on frequent bike rides, and hikes in the woods with my two dogs. 

Cormorant diving for dinner. Zach captured this shot during Outing Club.
Dive-in Diner

When out and about, I make sure to always have my camera with me – in case I encounter any awesome wildlife! When Mr. Hayward gave us an assignment for Outing Club last week asking us to shoot photos and identify birds on our outings, it was a perfect fit.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen hundreds of birds — from cedar waxwings and cardinals to bald eagles. Of course, I’ve also seen my fair share of squirrels throughout the woods. Along the water, I’ve seen herons, seagulls, and even two harbor seals. 

Lots of squirrels
Squirrels: They’re everywhere

Even though I’m not at Gould right now, I’ve still been able to watch my fair share of wildlife. I’m using my skills of navigation and tracking animals, and I’ve been covering more distance than I would at Gould.

On the other hand, being at home, and having to go on these outings myself has brought its own challenges. If I go out on the search for animals, and I encounter bad weather, it takes a lot longer to bike a few miles back home than it would to just take a brisk walk to my dorm room and wait out the storm inside with my roommates.

Zach found a heron on the shore during and outing club outing.

When life is back to normal, and we’re able to return to school, I’ll definitely start up a bird-watching (and other wildlife) club!

I’m looking forward to getting back to campus and continuing life with my friends and teachers but now, I’m really looking forward to walking around the lower fields and Pine Hill again—searching for the fox den that is somewhere very close to campus and exploring the beaver dams for the first time.

Vivid cormorant hanging out during outing club.
Still Life with Cormorant

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One Response

  1. Avatar Doug Alford says:

    Zach, your photos are stunning! The one of the duck face down in the water is a prize-winner in any photo contest. Keep it up! Maybe we’ll be able to hike in the Maine woods again this fall!

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