Week of February 4, 2024 – February 10, 2024

Catherine McLaughlin, Environmental Educator at Baltimore Woods

by Catherine McLaughlin, Environmental Educator

It is 40 degrees. In February. In Central New York. This doesn’t feel normal to me as someone who grew up around here, but it seems like muddy winters are becoming more common.

How I played outside most of winter is different from what I see today. I would be sledding or digging cave systems in feet of snow. Now those days of making giant snow creatures seem few and far between. The children I see who come to Baltimore Woods for Trail School or School Break Camps have taken advantage of these snowy days when we have had them this season.

What did you do each year in a snowy winter? Perhaps you skied, or snowmobiled, or snowshoed – and someone in your family likely taught you how to do so. Many of our hobbies or activities we continue to practice in adulthood were shared with us by someone we care about. But what do you do if the resources change so it is hard to be able to do them, especially where we won’t harm our environment?

You still take advantage of the days when you can do those beloved activities, and teach them to your friends, kids, and grandchildren. On the other hand, learning new ways to enjoy the mud covered trails and cool weather is an adventure of its own.

These changes in what feels like a short period of time can be difficult to deal with. We may find ourselves frustrated with the loss of winter traditions, but now we can look to others to learn something new as the world around us changes. What is something new that you have learned to do with our light winters?