Stop. Look. Listen.

Remember that advice shared with us by our parents as part of being taught what to do before crossing a street?

It comes in handy while out in nature.  Next time you’re on a hike, please do so:  Stop.  Look.  Listen.

Today, while continuing my wildflower inventory along Veterans Bike Path in the Town of Ballston, I did just that.  I had stepped off the bike path to more thoroughly study the many plants growing along a small shallow water area in the drainageway bordering the adjoining woodland, when a sound and motion overhead caught my attention.  As one of them flew across the trail to a large oak on the opposite side of the adjoining railroad tracks, my eyes quickly noticed this silhouette from where the first bird took flight –

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

Given my reward for doing so, I encourage you to take a moment next time you are out for a hike to simply stop and take notice of what is surrounding you.  You might be surprised to see “whoo” is watching you!

Happy trails!

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