June 9th, 2011
Are you looking for a way to get “unplugged” from indoors. National Get Outdoors Day is June 11th and here are 5 ways you can reconnect with nature from the new Ad Council/USDA Forest Service campaign. It’s called “Discover the Forest” and is designed to help kids and families discover the wonders of nature and the forest.
1. Find a local creek or body of water to let out your fishing line, observe some marine critters, or even go for a swim. Water provides a range of activities that will lure your kids away from their electronics and promote a family activity.
2. Read about plants native to the region you’re seeing and try to identify 10 different species on your hike. This is an excellent way to engage your kids and foster a family conversation about nature.
3. Go camping! This classic outdoor activity proves to be even more exciting when you leave the tent at home. Treat your family to the stars when nighttime falls on National Get Outdoors Day!
4. If your family is less experienced in the outdoors, pack a picnic and just relax in a meadow, field or local park. It’s a great way to unwind together.
5. For weekend wilderness warriors, this is a great occasion to learn how to do something new and create shard memories with your kids! Celebrate National Get Outdoors Day by finding a guide to teach you how to fly fish, repel or even rock climb.
Find friends on facebook at Discover the Forest page
March 19th, 2010
Did you know that Pileated Woodpeckers are the largest species of woodpeckers and they kind of look like Woody Woodpecker?
You can’t miss them because they are as big as a crow and have bright red heads. These giant woodpeckers live in many parts of the United States, and if they live near you, you will find lots of clues that make them easy to spot.
Look for them in large trees that grow in local parks, greenbelts, and wooded areas near your house.
They especially love dead wood and snags where lots of bugs live. You will know they are present if you find BIG retangular holes in the snags or trees.
Their favorite food is carpenter ants.
Another dead give-away is to listen for their loud call.
4 more facts about Pileated Woodpeckers
Woopeckers use their stiff tails to prop them against the tree while they are eating
They have chisel-like bills that they use to dig wood or peel bark from a tree when searching for insects to eat
They usually nest in tree holes.
They use their long sticky tongues to reach ants that are living in the dead wood that they excavate
GUTSY STUFF: Organize a neighborhood woodpecker hunt. See if you can find the rectangular holes in a nearby wooded area and check back often to see if they are pecking away on the hole. Don’t forget to listen for their call. You might even hear them from your house if they are flying nearby.
Click here to see if Pileated Woodpeckers live near you. And if they don’t, you might find other kinds of woodpeckers living near you.
March 15th, 2010
You’re on a vacation road-trip with your parents and starting to get a little bored. Wait, what’s that up ahead? It’s a gigantic bison standing in the middle of the road. It’s so cold outside that his fur is covered with frost and you can see his breath curling up over his wet nose. He looks kind of scary and you are wondering if he’s dangerous as you drive by.
You sniff the air. It smells like rotten eggs .
As you cruise slowly on down the road you see big holes in the ground bubbling out orange oozy stuff.
You imagine a grizzly bear just over the hill devouring a dead bison.
The hair on the back of your neck stands up when you hear wolves howling. There they are…just across the river. Five wolves with their heads raised to the sky howling away.
You are starting to feel pretty good, after all, about this vacation!
What senses are used to describe this place? What is your sixth sense? (hint…it’s in the name of this website)
Can you guess where this place is from the list below?
To see if you guessed right, check the list below for a link to the place.
- Death Valley National Park