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A Perfect Place for a Winter Hike

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We went hiking today. In perfect weather. We were shedding vests and jackets and loving the temperatures that climbed into the 60s this afternoon. All the snow has melted. Except for a few places where the sun doesn’t touch. Out at the Howard County Conservancy, our last winter hike took place this morning.

winter hike at HCC 021

The strollers got to find the first skunk cabbage up near the East Branch on the Conservancy grounds. Also found a few last milkweed pods. And listened to the woodpeckers up in the trees.

winter hike at HCC 022

The other “fitness hikers” took off behind Ann, their leader to find the champion tulip poplar on the property. There is a geocache located there for those into discovery using the GPS units.

We watched them coming down the hills on their way back to the Conservancy.

winter hike at HCC 024

The birds were out in force today, flitting from trees to bushes. I startled half a dozen bluebirds, some Carolina wrens, lots of sparrows, a few woodpeckers and nuthatches. We heard the pileated woodpeckers but couldn’t find them. They were hiding, not coming to visit like they did for me last November.

birds and conservancy program 025

After our hike, we went to hear Ned Tillman talk about the geology of Mt. Pleasant, and then enjoyed soup and salad for lunch. Lunch provided by one of the supporters of the Conservancy, REI. The Conservancy knows how to keep their volunteers happy. Let us roam around outdoors, come in for some enriching lectures and feed us well.

Here’s to more time spent enjoying the scenery.

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About annierie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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