Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fun in the Snow at Kawing Crow

 Fresh snow, a fun group of nature lovers, and a fine teacher of nature awareness -- all added up to a great way to spend a cold winter's day today.  Thanks to sponsorship by the Southern Adirondack Audubon Society, a group of about 15 of us braved snow-slicked roads this morning to attend a workshop conducted by noted naturalist Vince Walsh at his Kawing Crow Awareness Center in Greenfield.  Cozying up to a roaring woodstove and surrounded by mounted specimens representing Vince's many years of wildlife experiences, we spent the morning listening to Vince help us understand the minds and motivations of the creatures that live in the wild around us.

After immersing ourselves in the lore of many woodland animals and then fueling up on lunch, we donned our cold-weather gear for further adventures outdoors, exploring the woods and marsh that surround  the Kawing Crow center.

We hadn't gone more than a few steps from the door when we found our first set of tracks in the fresh snow, which provided many lessons in how to determine the size, direction, and speed of the animal that made them.  We continued through the woods and came upon many other tracks,  allowing us to put our new knowledge into practice.  Vince is an extraordinarily engaging and enthusiastic teacher, encouraging our questions and turning even our mistaken guesses into opportunities for learning.  This was at least the fourth workshop of Vince's I have attended, and I always learn something new and have a wonderful time.

A fine snow continued to fall during our afternoon's explorations, frosting the trees and adding to the beauty of the landscape.  

Vince's baby daughter, here pulled by her mother Erica, joined us for for the morning's education as well as for part of our woodland adventures.  What a lucky little girl, to grow up so surrounded by nature's wonders and nurtured in its lore!  Doesn't she look happy to be outdoors?


June said...

Well, sure! Put me in a puffy snowsuit and pull me along on a sled and I'd be happy to be out in the cold too! :-P

Sounds like a fun day.
I wonder what he said about the fisher.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Hi June, thanks for stopping by. I was in a pretty puffy snowsuit that day, myself, but I still felt cold unless I kept moving. Vince told us all kinds of fascinating things about Fishers, including a story that indicated one actually caught a fish. Normally, despite their name, Fishers hunt for land prey, but they are certainly opportunistic.