Forensic Botanizing: Woodland Forbs

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).

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

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

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.

Christmas Fern

Christmas Fern



Beginning to Look Like Winter

Fall...into Winter

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:

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:

Happy trails!