Get Out!


Fun things to do and great places to discover nature.

  • Listen for chorus frogs in February. Their calls sound like when you run your thumbnail across the top of a pocket comb.
  • Keep an eye out for the first blooms of the year — Ozark witch-hazel and harbinger (har-bin-jer) of spring.
  • Regift your Christmas tree. Take off the decorations, and ask a grown-up to help you tuck your cleaned-up shrub near your bird feeder. Or sink it in your pond. The birds or fish will appreciate the extra cover.
  • February 2 is Groundhog Day, but it’s also World Wetlands Day. After you’ve checked on the groundhog (no shadow means an early spring), visit your nearest marshy area to watch for wild geese and ducks returning north.
  • Lots of animals start courting in January and February. Keep an ear cocked for the nighttime sounds of bobcats, foxes, and screechowls looking for mates.

Looking for more ways to have fun outside? Find out about Discover Nature programs in your area at

Critter Corner

White-Tailed Deer

When the snow flies, deer hang out in cozy, tree-sheltered areas where they can nibble twigs and avoid the wind. They start getting ready for winter in the fall. They eat lots of acorns to pack on insulating fat. They also shed their light summer coats for heavy winter coats. This includes a top, water-resistant layer over a short, woolly layer next to their skin. Together, these layers keep them dry and warm. Learn more at

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