Welcome to winter!

The winter solstice will occur on December 21.  Its arrival will mark the shortest day of the year.  With the arrival of the new season, we all should consider the opportunity to include evening outdoor activities as well as being prepared to make the most of the daylight hours available.

Here is a short list of winter outdoor activities to consider:

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

If you have bird feeders in your yard, winter will be a great time to watch them from the comfort of your own home.  Here is a guide to the most common winter visitors to your feeders.  If you do enjoy viewing birds at your feeders, consider participating in Project FeederWatch.  For more info about winter bird feeding, please view my prior post.

Read about how snowflakes form.  View the science of snowflakes.  View a slideshow of photographs of snowflakes.

Speaking of snow, here are some recipes for you to consider:

If snowflakes inspire you, here is a short list of some indoor activities to consider:

Happy trails!

Advertisements

My first tracks of the season

After a wintery mix stormy week of weather, a sum total of about 7″ of fresh snow awaited my skis.  So, I headed out and made some tracks today.

I visited the Historic Champlain Canalway Trail and departed from the parking lot off Upper Newtown Road, heading south.

Glittering ash tree

Glittering ash tree

Winter wonderland

Winter wonderland

About halfway between Upper Newtown Road and McDonald Creek - note white pines on right

About halfway between Upper Newtown Road and McDonald Creek – note white pines on right

Closer view of those white pines

Closer view of those white pines

McDonald Creek

McDonald Creek from atop historic waste weir

View of hills west of towpath just south of McDonald Creek

View of hills west of towpath just south of McDonald Creek

Beaver lodge north of Lower Newtown Road

Beaver lodge north of Lower Newtown Road

Can you see the solar array in the former field?

Heading back (just north of southern boundary of Town of Halfmoon)

Heading back (just north of southern boundary of Town of Halfmoon)

Looking northeasterly across solar array

Looking northeasterly across solar array

Northbound across from beaver lodge

Northbound across from beaver lodge

Old Lock No. 9

Old Lock No. 7

During my outing, I saw/heard:

  • red squirrel
  • American crows
  • American robins
  • American goldfinches
  • black-capped chickadees
  • bluejays
  • Canada geese (several migrating flocks high above)
  • dark-eyed juncos
  • downy woodpeckers
  • hairy woodpecker
  • house sparrows
  • muskrat
  • northern cardinals
  • pileated woodpecker
  • red-bellied woodpeckers
  • red-tailed hawk
  • rock doves
  • white-breasted nuthatches

Happy trails!

Vischer Ferry Sunset will close-out Town of Clifton Park 2015 Calendar

The Town of Clifton Park has compiled its 2015 calendar from a selection of winning photos submitted to two photo contests conducted earlier in 2014.  The “Open Space and Nature Day Photo Contest” sought entries from residents and visitors with the goal of encouraging them to enjoy the outdoors.  The second contest, “Art in Everyday Life,” sought entries that represented the artist’s interpretation of this theme in photographic images.

One of my entries, entitled “Vischer Ferry Sunset,” was selected for the December photo of this calendar as a result of it being selected a first place winner in the “Landscapes” category of the Open Space and Nature Day Photo Contest.  All entries were photographed at any of eight nature preserves or parks located in the town.  The Open Space and Nature Day was hosted by the Town Board and its Open Space, Trails & Riverfront Advisory Committee on May 17.

View the 2015 calendar.  Read more about it and how to obtain your copy from the Office of Parks, Recreation and Community Affairs at Town Hall, One Town Hall Plaza, between 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.

On December 1, the Town Board recognized the winning entries and the associated artists at the beginning of its regular board meeting.