One of the best times of the year to go for a walk in the woods is winter. In North Carolina we have many days in the winter months that are warm enough to enjoy being outdoors. This weekend is a great example! And there are many reasons that being in the woods in the winter is a great idea. One reason is that there are not so many insects in the winter so we don’t need to worry about getting bitten. Another is that because the leaves are off the trees and the underbrush we can see more of the landscape. We aren’t so closed in. It’s easier to see the rocks and the creeks and ponds if we aren’t looking through a lot of leaves. It’s also cooler so we can wear long sleeves and long pants comfortably and avoid poison ivy and briars that might make walking in the woods uncomfortable at other times.
You may be thinking that it’s not winter yet. Well, according to our calendars you are right. If we base our months on the movement of the earth in relation to the sun winter doesn’t begin until December 21, but the temperature and the weather suggest that winter starts with the month of December.
So, if you go for a winter walk in the woods what are some things to look for? Children can carry a bag and pick up nuts, acorns, sweet gum balls and other seeds from the trees. You can also look at the interesting lichens, mosses and ferns that still keep their color. And the evergreen shrubs and trees add color to an otherwise drab landscape. You can also look at the leaves on the ground and try to identify them and the tree they came from. It’s easier to see the birds in the trees without so many leaves to look through. In short, there’s a lot to do in the winter woods and you should make a point of going for a walk on a lovely winter day.