In my family, instead of fighting winter, we try to embrace it. We get out there and make the most of the season. This year, all winter long I’ll share ideas for short winter field trips to make the snow and cold a little more fun. My hope is we’ll convert a few of you as you read about our winter outings.
Take a Wildlife Walk
Take a short walk. Outside. Long enough to get some fresh air, but not so long you freeze. Bundle up for the weather. My parents went for crazy one-hour (or longer) walks last week during the extreme deep freeze. The city declared late-starts for schools because of the super low temps and my parents were strolling along the East River Trail looking for birds. “Well, if you’re dressed for the weather it’s not bad,” my Dad said, unconcerned as my jaw dropped. I guess you know where I found my love of winter.
What to do once you’re bundled up and outside? Get out and look for birds. Yesterday we saw an amazing flock of ducks flying in some sort of crazy syncopated pattern. Listen for birds. It seems like on warmer winter days, birds’ vocal chords also warm up. Discover unusual ice and snow formations. Search for animal signs like scat and footprints. Last week, we saw plenty of both, indicating we have a healthy deer population in town.
You don’t need to go anywhere special to get outside for a wildlife walk, but if you’re looking for something new, look for a nature-viewing area near open water. One of the best discoveries we made this year is the De Pere River Walk & Wildlife Viewing Pier. It’s a great, easy place to get to for wildlife watching.
Clearly. I took some of these pictures in warmer weather, but I have gone for walks there this winter as well and it is just as beautiful. We especially enjoy viewing the cormorants and pelicans, but there are all kinds of birds that are attracted to the open water near the dam.
The short trail takes you over a lift bridge and to two piers on the Fox River. With a Wildlife Viewing Pier, the Walleye Deck, a Pelican Lookout, all on an easy-to-walk paved trail that connects to the Fox River Trail and Voyageur Park, the De Pere Riverwalk makes a good outing in any season.
Join us in embracing winter!
Embrace winter this year…or at least follow along with us this winter from the comfort of your computer screen. Need ideas to get started? Click through for Six Great Winter Outings in Northeast Wisconsin.