We didn’t get any substantial snowfall in Glen Providence Park this winter, but we did get several dustings and light coverings- enough for some friendly snowmen to emerge in the park, and for a few days of sledding! And of course the woods look just magical with a coating of snow. Add winter lighting and you have some beautiful hikes….
We headed out in the cold for our second year participating in the Christmas Bird Count in December, and our Winter Tree Identification in January. We even ventured out in the rain for our Naturalist Walk & Talk in February, and the woods were lovely! The intrepid Media Providence Friends School students continued to use the park as an outdoor classroom for science, service learning, and even for Mindfulness exercises!
The weather was erratic with January’s temperatures all over the map- ranging from a frigid 12 degrees to a balmy 68! But with reptiles and amphibians in hibernation, there are birds and mammals to see. One particularly fun bird to watch (if you can spot it despite its camouflage!) is the adorable Brown Creeper: it spirals its way up a tree eating bark insects, then virtually drops to the base of the tree to start up again. To see what birds to expect in winter, see our winter bird sightings on eBird.
Valentine’s Day seemed like the tipping point for winter, with a beautiful coating of fresh snow rapidly melting- and we noticed buds on American Beech and Silver Maple. After that, wildlife activity started picking up- with a number of birds singing in the park one late February morning, despite it being 26 degrees and breezy! We saw an American Crow gathering twigs for a nest, and we had a report of a Muskrat swimming in the pond under the ice, the same week we were finding possible muskrat tracks along Broomall’s Run.
Winter is a great time to admire the structure of trees, and there are plants that are interesting year-round, like the Smooth Alder on the pond’s island with its catkins and cone-like fruit, elegant Mountain Laurel on the eastern hill, and mosses on the forest floor. We started the 1.1 Acre Project to study and document the species in the construction area for the 3rd Street Dam- so that will be a parallel photojournal through the year!