About 15 people joined Master Naturalist Paul Noeldner in February to learn about “life beneath the snow” as part of a FUN Bird & Nature Outing.
The crisp winter walk from Goodman Community Center along the bike path to Starkweather Creek revealed a variety of winter birds, squirrels, tracks and tunnels in the snow where critters take shelter and find their animal ‘grocery stores’ of plant seeds, tree buds, bark, buried nuts and other food caches to survive the winter.
Taking a route through Olbrich Gardens provided an opportunity to enjoy a campfire and look for willow buds and other winter phenology in the trees and bushes. The group very much appreciated the indoor space provided by outing co-sponsor Goodman Community Center to meet, look at the insulating properties of fur and feathers, and warm up before and after the outing.
Current health crisis advisories are keeping us indoors a lot. One thing that health officials are advising for improving both mental and physical health is spending time outdoors in nature!
By keeping a recommended 6 foot safe social distance you can enjoy some nature and sunshine and enjoy contacts with friends on a walk. The birds are singing and soon the frogs will be calling and leaves will be budding on trees. A walk in nature is great for physical health. Seeing nature do its thing is great for lifting spirits and a sense of well being!
This health crisis is helping us understand just how important little things like time in nature are for all of us. Especially in urban areas we need nearby nature to enjoy! The birds and animals and pollinators all need these natural areas too.
– Paul Noedler, Friends of Starkweather Creek board member