On this Christmas Day, I visited the Woodcock Preserve in the Town of Clifton Park. I was rewarded by spotting this Barred Owl (not a great image, but you can find it near the middle of this photo).
I had also viewed this owl in practically the same spot during my hike here on New Year’s Day to begin 2016.
As I continued my hike, I chose to wander along the Blue Trail since this portion of the preserve is open at this time of year.
Blue Trail trailhead – Woodcock Preserve
My hike inspired me to offer you a winter plant ID quiz. To identify each plant, simply click on “Answer” beneath each image. Have fun!
Wishing all a very Merry Christmas! Here’s hoping everyone enjoys happy trails in the New Year.
As Fall progresses into Winter…
The winter solstice will occur on December 21. The arrival of this new season will mark the return of the shortest days of the entire year. We should all consider extending these short days with evening outdoor activities as well as being prepared to make the most of the daylight hours available.
Here is a list of winter outdoor activities to consider:
- Cross Country Ski Trip or Hike (Moreau Lake State Park): December 21, 2016
- Winter Solstice Night Hike: December 21, 2016
- Lake Bonita Hike (Moreau Lake State Park): December 22, 2016 (repeated on December 28)
- Eagle Watch (Moreau Lake State Park): December 23, 2016 (and weekly thereafter)
- Spring Overlook Hike (Moreau Lake State Park): December 24, 2016
- Tasty Treats for Winter Birds (Thacher Nature Center): December 28, 2016
- Beaver Adventure (Moreau Lake State Park): December 29, 2016
- Evergreen Walk (Thacher Nature Center): December 30, 2016
- Nearly New Year Snowshoe Walk (Thacher Nature Center): December 31, 2016
- New Year’s Day Bird Count – Five Rivers Environmental Center: January 1, 2017
- First Day Hike – Grafton Lakes State Park: January 1, 2017
- First Day Hike (Moreau Lake State Park): January 1, 2017
- New Year Bird Research Walk: January 2, 2017
- CSI: Critter Scene Investigation: January 7, 2017
- Snowshoe Walk (Thacher Nature Center): January 7, 2017
- Animal Tracking Winter Walk (Wilton Wildlife Preserve): January 7, 2017 (repeated on January 21 & February 20)
- Full Moon Hike for Adults: January 12, 2017
- Full Moon Night Hike (Huyck Preserve): January 13, 2017
- Feisty Fishers: January 29, 2017
- Full Moon Hike for All Ages: February 10, 2017
- Full Moon Night Hike (Huyck Preserve): February 11, 2017
- Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe (Wilton Wildlife Preserve): February 11, 2017
- Snowshoeing in the Pine Bush: February 18, 2017
- Owl Prowl (Wilton Wildlife Preserve): February 22, 2017 (repeated on March 3, 8, & 17)
Winter is a great time for birdwatching from the comfort of your own home. Consider putting up a few bird feeders. For more info about winter bird feeding, please view my prior post. Winter is also an excellent time to learn about animal tracks. View this guide to winter tracks.
Read about how snowflakes form. View the science of snowflakes. View a slideshow of photographs of snowflakes.
Speaking of snow, here are some recipes and other ideas for you to consider: