Tag Archives: tracks

Happy Spring!

Snow at Ashland - Photo by Rebecca Wadman

Snow at Ashland – Photo by Rebecca Wadman

It was late in the winter, but a couple weeks ago we finally had a spectacular snowfall! Here at Ashland, we had an absolutely perfect opportunity for finding evidence of some of our winter animals (and for sledding!)

Junco - Photo by Rebecca Wadman

Can you find the Dark-eyed Junco? – Photo by Rebecca Wadman

Birds are everywhere! Many birds migrate away from Delaware for the winter, but the ones that stay have to figure out what to do when there’s so much snow on the ground. It’s harder to find food, and much harder to stay warm. If you do see any birds when it’s this cold, they’ll be sitting in the trees with their feathers fluffed up to hold in heat.

Dog Paw Print - Photo by Rebecca Wadman

Dog Paw Print – Photo by Rebecca Wadman

On snowy days, it’s easier to see where animals and people have been walking. It’s amazing just how many people walk the trails here at Ashland Nature Center, alone or with their dogs. When I was out on a walk, I saw footprints, dog paw prints, ski tracks, and sled tracks. Every footstep makes a mark in the snow, and if you grab a field guide and keep your eyes open, who knows what animals you’ll find evidence of!

Whose Tracks Are These? - Photo by Rebecca Wadman

Whose Tracks Are These? – Photo by Rebecca Wadman

But springtime is coming, and the snow can’t stick around forever. As the snow melts, some of the season’s first flowers are starting to show, and animals are starting to come back from their winter homes.

Tree Swallow - Photo by John Harrod

Tree Swallow – Photo by John Harrod

Tree swallows are small, iridescent birds that migrate down to Central America during the winter, and travel as far north as the Arctic Circle to breed in the summer. Below is an example of tree swallow sounds. See if you can find any of these birds outside this week!

Come on over to Ashland Nature Center during the week and stop in at the visitor’s center for trail guides to help you learn more about the plants and animals you can find here!

First Snow!

By Hannah Greenberg

Good Day Nature Lovers!

Did you notice that it snowed last night? I bet you did! Many of you may have even gotten a snow day from our unexpected snow storm. I hope you got a chance to play in the snow like Kim and I did! This morning the two of us took a lovely hike through Ashland before any people had disturbed the snow. However, we saw signs that some native critters had been out and about!

Look at the beautiful undisturbed snow! Photo by Hannah Greenberg

As we walked along, we carefully looked for different animal tracks. We saw an assortment of deer tracks on the climb up Sledding Hill, and we even spotted a deer run up the hill! It was a beautiful sight to see the deer against the calm, white landscape.

So many different tracks! Photo by Hannah Greenberg

If you see this, a deer was here! Photo by Hannah Greenberg

Once we made it all the way up sledding hill, we took some time to appreciate our new vantage point. The snow really does make everything look prettier! I hope some of you make your way up the hill to sled; it has its name for a good reason!

View from the top of the hill. Photo by Hannah Greenberg

We kept a close eye out for different tracks as we hiked along- the deer seemed to be everywhere. But, we finally came across something new! What other animals do you think would have been out in the snow?

What could have made these tracks? Photo by Hannah Greenberg

If you guessed the tracks came from a rabbit, you are correct! Good job! Next time it snows, maybe even tomorrow, take a look outside to find some cool animal tracks! Make sure to bundle up, it gets pretty chilly out there!

Until next time nature lovers!

 

 

 

 

 

A Snowy Ashland Morning

Hey kids! Did you enjoy waking up Sunday morning to the blanket of snow as much as I did? Christy Belardo, Delaware Nature Society’s Volunteer Coordinator, and I had a sleepover at the intern house the night before; it was a wonderful surprise for both of us to wake up to snow! We quickly shoved our feet in our boots and threw on our coats to go take pictures of the snow covered Ashland Nature Center. The glistening white snow looked beautiful in the morning sun!

The snow covered driveway leading up to the intern house. Do you see the tracks in the bottom of the picture? Can you guess what animal those tracks belong to? (Keep reading to find out...) Photo by Christy Belardo.

The snow covered driveway leading up to the intern house. Do you see the tracks in the bottom of the picture? Can you guess what animal those tracks belong to? (Take the quiz below to see if your guess is correct!) Photo by Christy Belardo.

The  marsh looks quite different when it’s blanketed in snow! Photo by Christy Belardo.

The marsh looks quite different when it’s blanketed in snow! Photo by Christy Belardo.

After we got our fill of taking pictures, we headed back inside. There is a bird feeder that sits right outside the dining room bay window, and I often bird as I’m eating my breakfast in the mornings. Christy and I did the same, and she caught this Carolina Chickadee in action at the feeder. We saw Tufted Titmice and a White-breasted Nuthatch who also came to the feeder to eat breakfast with us.

Carolina Chickadee at the bird feeder next to the intern house!

Carolina Chickadee at the bird feeder next to the intern house! Photo by Christy Belardo.

 

Christy and I also got to see some tracks that were in the driveway. Take a good look at the tracks in these pictures; Photo 1 and Photo 2. Then, scroll down to take the quiz below to see if you can identify the animal that made the tracks!

Photo 1: What animal made these tracks? Answer below!

Photo 1: What animal made these tracks? Take the quiz below!

Photo 2: What animal made these tracks? Answer below!

Photo 2: What animal made these tracks? Take the quiz below!

Your Score:  

Your Ranking:  

If you enjoying exploring in winter like Christy and me, and you’re looking for something to do on a day you have no school, look no further than the Delaware Nature Society’s Day Camps! When school is out, nature is in! The first day camp is Monday, January 21st 8:30am – 3:30pm for kids ages 5-12.  We will be exploring the winter wonderland of Ashland looking for signs of animals and tracks, as well as playing games and making our own bird feeders. Dress for the weather and pack a lunch. Snacks will be provided.

Save the dates for our other day camps as well!
Monday, February 18th 8:30am – 3:30pm
No School? Ashland Unplugged – Experience your favorite video games come to life! Try shooting an arrow or a slingshot, and complete an obstacle course to save the “princess”! Dress for the weather and pack a lunch. Snacks will be provided.

Wednesday, April 3rd 8:30am – 3:30pm
No School? Caring for Animals – Spend time with Ashland’s animal collection and exploring the grounds for some animal’s favorite food! Build a toad abode or “enrichment” for one of the animals at Ashland Nature Center or at home. Dress for the weather and pack a lunch. Snacks will be provided.

Don’t miss out just because your parents have to work when you have no school! Before-care and after-care are available for all our day camps.

If you are interested in registering for our day camps or would like more information, please visit us at www.delawarenaturesociety.org or call us at (302) 239-2334.

 

Young Naturalists Club Identify Signs of Winter Animals!

Extra, extra, read all about it! The Young Naturalists had a great time outside last weekend! Our returning guest author and Young Naturalists leader, Kristen, wanted to share what they did with you!

The Young Naturalists Club met on Sunday, December 16th to learn how to identify signs of animals that stay at Ashland Nature Center over the winter. We learned how to identify deer, rabbits, fox, raccoon, and skunks by their scat, tracks and fur! 

These Young Naturalists studying the tracks and other animal evidence they may see on the trail!

These Young Naturalists are studying the tracks and other animal evidence they may see on the trail! Photo by Kristen Sensabaugh.

 

We set out on a hike to try to find signs of these animals.  Along our way, we stopped to build a campfire and roasted marshmallows. We found deer and raccoon tracks along the creek side. 

Roasting marshmallows over a campfire at Wildflower Brook.

Young Naturalists roasting marshmallows over a campfire at Wildflower Brook, they look delicious! Photo by Kristen Sensabaugh.

Looking in the soft mud along the side of the creek is a great place to find animal tracks!

The soft mud along the side of the creek is a great place to find animal tracks! Photo by Kristen Sensabaugh.

 

After we had our fill of warm, sugary marshmallows – we hiked up Sledding Hill to find more deer tracks and scat, as well as fox scat.

Fields, like the one along Sledding Hill, is a great place to find animal scat!

Fields, like the one along Sledding Hill, is a great place to find animal scat! Photo by Kristen Sensabaugh.

As we walked along the Red Clay Creek floodplain, we found raccoon scat and tracks – and even some signs of rabbits gnawing at the base of a tree! 

After our long hike, we warmed up inside with some hot chocolate and made a special ornament using our own hand print!

 

Thanks for sharing Kristen! I think it’s super cool you guys found so many different kinds of tracks and scat!

Last weekend was the last Young Naturalists Club for the year, stay tuned to hear about what the Young Naturalists will be up to when the warmer weather returns! If you’re interested in joining the Young Naturalists Club on their adventures, sign up now! Members can register online at delawarenaturesociety.org or you may call us at (302) 239 – 2334.

 

This is our last blog post of 2012! Anna, myself, and the entire Delaware Nature Society staff wish you a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!