John Bates & Mary Burns

Bird Migration to Wild Mushrooms to Natural Dyes - Nature Study

Sept 24-29, 2017 (Four Teaching Days)

Through field trips and presentations, explore the autumn beauty and ecology of northern Wisconsin with a professional author/naturalist and a professional textile artist. Field trips will include a variety of hikes, a canoe/kayak trip, a birding exploration, and a natural dyeing activity to create a hand-dyed silk scarf. All activities will be easygoing. Guest speakers with expertise on wildlife like common loons, black bears, and eagles and ospreys will share their experiences. This is a beautiful season in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Join us for this intellectually and aesthetically enriching experience.

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John Bates is the author of seven books and a contributor to seven others, all of which focus on the natural history of the Northwoods. He’s worked as a naturalist in Wisconsin’s Northwoods for 27 years, leading an array of trips all designed to help people further understand the remarkable diversity and beauty of nature, and our place within it.

John won the 2006 Ellis/Henderson Outdoor Writing Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers for his book Graced by the Seasons: Spring and Summer in the Northwoods. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for the Wisconsin Nature Conservancy and the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and now serves on the Board of the River Alliance of Wisconsin and the Board of the Northwoods Land Trust.

Mary Burns expresses her love of northern woodlands and waters in her weavings and writings. An award winning weaver, her work resides in private homes across the United States.  Mary creates tapestries and felted work that reflect the hues and patterns of the natural world. Mary’s most recent project is the Ancestral Women Exhibit. The exhibit includes woven portraits of an elder from each of Wisconsin’s 12 Native tribes as well as an additional 12 complimentary weavings. She teaches tapestry and other forms of weaving as well as felting.

Mary’s love of the natural world also shines in her natural history work she does with her husband John Bates. Together they lead wildflower, birding, and natural history hikes and discussions. Mary’s first novel Heartwood (2003) is a fantasy/natural history novel for young adults. She is a contributor to A Place to Which We Belong: Wisconsin Writers on Wisconsin Landscapes (1998). Mary and John have lived in Mary’s grandparent’s home in northern Wisconsin since 1984.

This is a Studio and Feild Study Workshop.
Something for All Levels.

Workshop Fee plus tax per student: 
If 12 or more students attend class (all teaching days): $305
If 11-10 students attend class (all teaching days): $315
If 9-8 students attend class (all teaching days): $325
Room & One Dinner Fee plus tax: $385
(There are 5 nights' accommodations included in the "Room & One Dinner Fee" listed above.)
Cancellation Policy, Class Fees and Tiered Pricing Explained
A partial tuition scholarship is offered
Workshop Itinerary


REGISTER NOW for John & Mary


Workshop Itinerary

Sunday, 9/24
Check-In to your unit at Dillman’s (check-in time is 3:00)
5:00 Welcome Reception (included in package)
6:00 Dinner at Dillman's (included in package)

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday 9/25-9/28
Breakfast On Own
9:00 a.m. - Noon Class in Session
Lunch On Own

Meals are on your own. All accommodations have cooking facilities. You may preorder box lunches and dinners for meals to be taken alone or with your group in: your studio, the lodge deck, cafe, or your accommodation. (Pre-ordering for lunches and dinners is required.)

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Class in Session
Dinner - See Optional Events Below

Thursday, 9/28
NOON Farewell Champagne Toast (included in package)

Friday, 9/29
Depart - check-out time is 10:00

Optional Events - Sign Up Required / Subject to Change:
    Sunday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

    Monday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)
    Monday 7:00 p.m. S'more Roast (no charge)

    Tuesday 7:30 a.m. Yoga
    Tuesday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)

    Wednesday 4:00 p.m. Pontoon Ride on White Sand Lake (no charge)
    Wednesday 5:00 p.m. Moondeer & Friends Gallery Tour (no charge)
    Wednesday 6:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner

    Thursday NOON Pontoon Ride on White Sand Lake (no charge)
    Thursday 5:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner (Depart from Lodge Lobby)


Dine-Around Dinners: Registration required at the front desk, meet at 5:00pm in the main lobby for carpooling.

Day students are welcome to attend the Welcome Reception and Farewell Reception (included in your package). You are also invited to join the class dinners (additional fee). PAL’s (Participants at large) can vacation at Dillman’s for $45 per night for accommodations. Costs for box lunches and dinners are additional.