Have you been ready for spring since about January 2? Wondering how you’ll ever get through the remaining weeks of winter? The best way I know is to get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer. When there’s enough snow, cross country skiing or snowshoeing are both good ways to keep warm enough to enjoy exploring the beauty of your surroundings. Or go for a walk in a nearby park, natural area, or your own garden.
While you’re out you’ll almost certainly spot animal tracks.
If you’re really lucky, you’ll spot the critter that made the tracks.
You may see evidence of insects or spiders attempting to survive the winter in one form or another.
Or you may find evidence that some insects have instead become food for birds. In the photo below, the holes in the tree were made by a Pileated Woodpecker, the result of excavating for a meal of carpenter ants or other insects.
With the leaves mostly off the trees, the spotlight is on the beauty of bark
and the mosses,
and mushrooms that decorate tree trunks and branches.
Winter buds are a promise of spring to come, showing subtle color and offering a way to identify trees in winter.
Winter fruits can be as beautiful as the flowers that produced them.
Birds, including some that you may only see in winter, eat some of the fruits.
The low angle of winter light flatters the landscape.
These are just a few of the reasons to love winter as much as the other seasons. Go out and explore while you can!