Connect with nature in the winter // 5 winter activities
Updated: Jul 9, 2019
Sometimes I feel pretty disconnected from nature in the winter months. It's cold, it's dark, and I want to curl up inside with thick socks and slippers. BUT, there are many easy ways to stay connected to nature through the winter months. Here are 5 ideas!
1. Put up a bird feeder
Winter bird-watching is SO amazing. Birds that migrate south show up in the cold months (in Raleigh, anyway!), and they LOVE the bird feeder! We use the “squirrel buster” classic feeder that keeps squirrels from eating all the bird seed (but they will still try!). If you live in Raleigh, you can pick up the squirrel buster at Logan's. We put fancy bird seed (peanuts, shelled sunflower seeds, no millet or other fillers) and mix in black oil sunflower seeds in our feeder. If we are feeling generous, we will also add dried meal worms.
One *very* fun part about a bird feeder, beyond getting to see beautiful birds, is learning the little bird personalities. For instance, downy woodpeckers have a lot of attitude and will pick through the feeder to find what seed or nut they want! Here are a few photos I've taken in the winter of birds at our feeder or nearby!
2. Go snowshoeing
If you live somewhere that gets snow, or live close enough to a ski area, snowshoeing is a great winter activity to get outside and enjoy the outdoors without all the expense of a ski trip. Often ski lodges will rent out snowshoes, as does REI and other snowsport stores. If you live in a snowy area, it might be worth it to buy your own pair!
3. Catch the sunrise/sunset
With the late sunrises and early sunsets, catching the brilliant colors of the sky is that much easier. I love a cold, crisp winter sunrise, where the warm color palette contrasts with the cool air.
4. Winter hiking: deer antler "hunting"
If you live in a part of the world that has deer, and can hike in the woods without snow obscuring your view, then January-March is a fun time to take a walk and search for dropped deer antlers. Each year, male deer drop their antlers after their mating season. If you're lucky, you may find a big antler! Even if you don't, you've taken a nice walk in the woods!
5. Notice the winter constellations
Depending on the season, some constellations are more easily visible and prominent in the sky than others. If you live in the northern hemisphere, the winter months show off some of my favorites, including Orion and the Pleiades cluster. Take advantage of the extra darkness to take a look upwards on a clear night and see what you notice. If you are feeling motivated, you could start learning and identifying constellations!
What's your favorite way to connect with nature in the winter?