Outdoorosity - Inspiration and Information About the Outdoors

Inspiration and Information About the Outdoors

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My teenage daughter has a basement bedroom, one she doesn’t want to share with either her sister home from college or creepy crawlies from outside. She is always dismayed, then, when she finds either in her room, especially a creepy crawly. And the one that bothers her is the most is the centipede. With the …

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You don’t have to go camping to build a campfire! This weekend, build one in your own backyard. REI has some great tips on how to start a roaring campfire here. Need to build a fire pit? Here are some very simple directions. Even if it’s cold outside, family and friends will be able warm …

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In our part of the country, we only have a few snow days each year. But my family loves them! We have snowball fights, build snowmen, and sled down a nearby hill. We also love taking walks while it’s snowing. It amazes me to think how every one of those flakes has a unique design. …

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It’s early December, and almost all the deciduous trees in our yard are bare. That makes it easier to see some feathered friends, especially cardinals with their bright red plumage. One red bird that’s difficult to spot throughout the year is the scarlet tanager. In the summer, these birds usually stay among the thick foliage …

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It’s the holiday season, which means lots sparkly lights, colorful packages, and pine cones! If you haven’t noticed them before, you’re sure to see them now – on wreaths, in baskets, as ornaments and centerpieces. But besides adding to the holiday cheer, pine cones have an important job. They protect the pine tree seeds from …

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We have had a few cold snaps already, and I’ve noticed a sharp decline in the number of insects around. So when my son and I were pulling up some vines the other day, you can image our surprise when a swarm of yellowjackets came up from the ground. We took off running as fast …

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It’s the big weekend for shopping the sales and waiting in line. It reminds me of a birthday party I went to at Chuck E. Cheese when my children were small. It was so loud and crowded that the birthday girl’s mom said, “I just want to go home and sit under a tree.” The …

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I love Thanksgiving, especially when extended family can get together to celebrate. Every time we do, we usually follow the family’s traditional Thanksgiving schedule: cooking and baking all morning, eating a huge meal around lunchtime, taking a nap, and then playing a family football or volleyball game. And while the food is delicious and the …

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This Thursday is Thanksgiving, which for many Americans means a table laden with food like mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, pumpkin pie, and of course, turkey. And while you may be familiar with the domestic farm-raised turkeys that often end up as part of the Thanksgiving menu, there is another kind of turkey out there …

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This weekend, gather your friends and family and take a nature walk together. As you go, take turns naming things in nature you are thankful for and why. They could be things you see during your walk, or they could be things inspired by what you see. The fresh air and gratitude are sure to …

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My seventeen-year-old is not a fan of creepy-crawly things, and she’s been working hard at keeping them out of her room. We live in an older home, so sometimes this proves to be quite a challenge. Imagine her shock and dismay to find another outdoor creature inside her space. This time, though, it wasn’t a …

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Every fall, North America’s monarch butterflies travel hundreds of miles to migrate to warmer areas.  Making the migration even more amazing, the butterflies return in the spring. They are the only butterfly species known to make this two-way migration like birds do.  Where Do They Go? Some butterflies go through the winter as larvae, pupa, …

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It’s the time of year when leaf blowers can be heard throughout the neighborhood. But instead of blowing away all of the fallen leaves in your yard, gather them up into a giant leaf pile. Give some leaf rakes to the kids and let them help, too! Then jump right in and enjoy some old-fashioned …

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I love the colors of fall, and this past week the leaves were so bright and beautiful on the trees in our town. And every time I saw them, it reminded me of a place we need to go back to and soon: Craggy Pinnacle in North Carolina. The colors there must be amazing!  We …

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If someone were to ask you to name an animal that hibernates, you’d probably say “a bear.” But for many years, some people did not consider them true hibernators. When animals such as chipmunks and ground squirrels hibernate, their body temperatures drop drastically. A bear’s body temperatures does not decrease nearly as much. And, unlike …

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What wild birds live near your home? Take a walk in a park and see what feathers you can find. Then try to identify them using The Feather Atlas by the Fish and Wildlife Service.     Photo by Bryan Hanson  

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When my oldest son was about six years old, he discovered a snake close to where he was playing. He called to his sister who then called to me, saying there was a baby copperhead in the grass. I rushed outside and, on first glance, the little snake did look like a copperhead. Worried about …

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At our house, it’s time to start decorating for Christmas on December 1, even if some years we get off to a slow start. But did you know there’s a way to celebrate Thanksgiving all month long? Not only is it easy to do, but it helps bring everyone’s attention back to the things that …

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A nature journal is a book or notebook for recording thoughts, feelings, ideas, and observations about the natural world. Creating student nature journals is a great way to get your class connecting with the outdoors. Recording observations and thoughts in a book helps students get to know their natural surroundings. Sometimes it’s hard to care about something when …

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Pumpkin picking, leaf peeping, getting lost in corn mazes — fall is a season full of outdoor activity. But people aren’t the only ones on the go. Squirrels are busy in the fall, bulking up for the winter with extra food and storing nuts, acorns, and seeds for later. Some of these squirrels appear grey …

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