Notice. Know. Be…in nature.

Notice Know Be in NatureWinter’s heavy hand rests on the Eastern Coast. Freezing rains, snow that won’t pack, sullen gray skies, and the toe-numbing cold. What is a mom who believes that “nature is important” to do when the both she and the kids are in danger of turning into screen-zombies?

Yesterday, I pulled out a book for inspiration: Hunting Red.

The young narrator notices nature all around. She hunts with her eyes for the royal catchfly flower, and with her ears for the piercing whistle of the cardinal.

She knows what she finds by name – from the enormous pileated woodpecker to the tiny scarlet cup.

And she takes time to just be in nature – sitting quietly against a dead tree trunk or hiking the tallgrass prairie.

To notice nature we will have to be in nature. To know nature we will have to be in nature, and we will have to do some research. To be in nature we will have to make the conscious choice to go outside.

Notice.

Know.

Be.

This is what I want for my children and myself. It’s time to go outside and walk the talk. Come along for the adventure!

Snowshoeing to See the Woods

The eleven inches of fresh falling snow transformed Bena Brook, creating a magical, monochromatic wonderland

upthebrook

From the exquisite sunlight filtering through the canopy

heaven

To the delicately wrought arched lairs formed by trees bending under the weight of the snow

archway

I had thought that my snowshoes would be the only red to be seen (snowshoeing is a great way to stay warm in the winter), but five red-headed woodpeckers came crashing through the woods in a very vocal territorial dispute

red, unsmudged

Both Two Point Dugout Lodge and the Leaf Tipi remained snug, providing dry cozy places to rest out of the wind and drink tea.

2point

leaftipi2

 To visit Bena Brook, rent snowshoes, or find Two Point Dugout Lodge, visit www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org

Staying warm when it is below zero

A fun way to stay warm in the winter is to build small, all-natural structures that block the wind. That way, whenever you’re out hiking and exploring, you have a cozy den as a destination to snug up inside. This quinzee is easy to find if you’re at the Indian Creek Nature Center. The leaf tipi is also at the Nature Center-you’ll just have to go on a longer adventure to discover it.

Leaf tipi
Leaf tipi
The quinzee mound is made, the door dug
The quinzee mound is made in the shape of a turtle, and the doorway is carved out
Nancy going inside
Nancy goes inside
And digs out a bit more space for us, so a few people can fit inside
And digs out a bit more space for us, so a few people can gather in the turtle