Winter: Not just for curling up inside by the fire!

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I was reflecting on how much I love the Fall and how I am going to miss this inviting weather when it gets too cold to be outside… Then I realized just how much there is to do outside in the colder months. I remember being outside when I was younger,  building snowmen and having snowball fights with the other neighborhood kids, and how those days provided me with life-long memories.  I recently learned how to snowboard and I hope to be able to take a trip this year, but if not I have some ideas that I would like to share that will still keep you in touch with nature during the colder months.

Winter photography: This can help you discover new vistas and explore places that you haven’t seen.

Stargazing: Crisp winter nights with little cloud cover make for the perfect opportunity to observe and identify different constellations in the night’s sky.

Day Hikes: Hiking is my all-time favorite outdoor activity; hiking in the winter time allows you to observe nature in a different form. Leaf-less trees and ice/snow-covered limbs are beautiful sights to behold

Night Hike: Make sure to bundle up for this one! with gloves on and flashlight in hand, night hikes can provide you with sights that cannot be seen in the day time. Shine the lights up into the canopy and try to spot a nesting owl! Shine your light through the woods at about knee-waist height and see if you can see any eyes reflecting back at you!

Follow animal tracks: If there is snow or ice on the ground, an animal’s tracks can be observed for hours after they were there. Try to identify all the different tracks you see on a trail, by a river or pond, or even by the road. (One fun activity for the kids is to get plaster of Paris and actually “collect” the print by making a mold of it).

Make snow ice cream: Use clean snow and add milk and your favorite flavoring and mix it altogether for a winter treat!

Sledding: In my opinion, you can never be to old to enjoy this past-time!

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