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Monday, March 2, 2015

The Warmth is in the Walk

Tracks at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve
Snow, snow, snow! Winter is one of our favorite times of year here at TLC. Not only do we get to participate in seasonal activities such as skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing, tubing and more, but we get to create great programs. We kicked off this winter with our yearly Winter Solstice at the Stateline Woods Preserve. Bill Wood came out and shared stories by the fireside. It was a great night to see the stars and decorate our tree with some solar lights!

We have already hosted several programs at the private Bucktoe Creek Preserve (BCP): an Evergreen Tree ID, a Winter Tree ID and the first parts of our Wildlife in Winter series. Our Evergreen Tree ID program featured tree experts from Bartlett. Not only did we get to learn about Evergreens in our area, but we heard about the various factors that threaten our forests and what tree experts do to protect against them.
Stateline Woods Preserve

The Winter Tree ID took place a few weeks later on beautiful winter day following a crisp snowfall. Our boots crunched through the snow as we explored the arboretum at BCP. We focused on simple ways one might identify a deciduous tree in the winter. With a finer eye one might be able to distinguish trees based on their bud, but our most obvious approach was to see if the trees left any leaves behind.

However, the trees weren’t the only ones leaving things behind! With snow on the ground our Wildlife in Winter participants found tracks of deer, foxes and more around BCP. The first segment of this series concentrated on hibernation and other forms of adaptation used to survive the cold and bare winter months. Our guest educator Holly Merker discussed topics from insect galls to hibernacula and more. Our second segment focused on camouflage, one of the most important aspects of survival.

We can’t wait for the spring, but winter hasn’t been treating us too badly either (even if we’ve reached some pretty cold temperatures!). It’s only a matter of time now before everything thaws out, so make sure to catch some of our March programs to wrap winter up! The Chester County Astronomical Society will be coming out on March 21st from 8-9:30pm to guide us through the skies as we explore the constellations visible to us. A week later on the 28th, Holly Merker will be returning to Bucktoe for our final part of the Wildlife in Winter Series, focused on migration. With the change in weather we will be able to find species returning to their northern homes for the spring and summer. If you are looking for any more signs of spring, don’t forget that spring break is coming up! TLC will be hosting Spring Break in Nature on March 30th, April 1st and April 3rd from 10am-2pm. Get the kids outside to shake off the winter cold, as we play, create and explore the habitats of creatures residing in the water, on the land and in the skies.

We will also be hosting our first Community Read event of the year on March 21st! Inspired by this year’s read: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, TLC brings to you “Nature that Inspires: The Walk,” from 2-4pm at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve (it is not necessary to have read the book to participate, but contact us at TLC if you would like a copy). This program has a follow up on March 25th from 6-7:30pm at the Bayard Taylor Library, “Nature that Inspires: The Workshop,” where you can try your own hand at nature writing with the guidance of the Writer’s Club in Kennett Square. On March 28th TLC will be hosting stories by the fireside where you can share a short piece you have written, or simply enjoy listening to the stories from 6-8pm. Mark your calendars! Spring will be here before you know it!
Spring at the Bucktoe Creek Preserve


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