A (temporary) White Christmas

Today’s fresh snow beckoned me to go search for some wintry Christmas scenes, even if in miniature – and fleetingly temporary.

I first visited Dwaas Kill Nature Preserve in the Town of Clifton Park.  After strolling along the Long Kill Loop (orange trail), I wandered along the green spur trail and found this view of the Dwaas Kill.

During my outing, I observed these little scenes, each of which helped me see that – at least briefly this morning – we were indeed enjoying a White Christmas (eve) –

Speckled Alder “cone” (female catkin)

Snow on Eastern White Pine – look closely for individual flakes

Pipsissewa with dried flower stalk

Eastern Hemlock

“Forest” of moss sporophytes

Princess Pine (Lycopodium obscurum)

I then visited Ushers Road State Forest, located in the Towns of Halfmoon and Clifton Park.  Slowly walking through the hemlock grove, …

Eastern Hemlock grove

… I continued by search of more miniature scenes before the snow cover disappeared in the sunshine that was now shining surprisingly brightly and uninterrupted.  Alas, the snow was quickly disappearing from sight!  But, I did get these few glimpses before the forest floor returned to its late autumn carpet of a myriad of brown hues.

Eastern Hemlock

Fruit of Asiatic Bittersweet

Princess Pine (Lycopodium obscurum)

Fruit of Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good “White Christmas” Eve!

Greetings to a new season – 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 list of winter outdoor activities to consider:

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!