Week of January 30, 2022 – February 5, 2022

staff member Anna Stunkel Environmental Educator

by Anna Stunkel, Environmental Educator

As we welcome the recent snowfall, and as the days gradually become longer, I’ve had the chance to enjoy some new discoveries out on the trails here at Baltimore Woods.

The increase in snow has revealed a new network of vole superhighways. Tiny meadow voles create tunnels under snow for cover, which are sometimes interspersed with tracks and entrance and exit holes. These tunnels have lately been abundant along the Arboretum Trail section that follows the field edge. Sometimes, there are small holes in the snow with no tracks leading up to or away from them. The voles may create these holes in order to allow trapped carbon dioxide to escape.

Although a beautiful blanket of fluffy snow covers the landscape and cold winds wind through the branches, birds are already beginning to think about spring. I’ve just started to hear a few birds singing, which is especially noticeable on bright blue sky days. Recently while I was leading a program, a northern cardinal suddenly broke into song: “cheer, cheer, cheer, purty purty purty!” Later, a tufted titmouse and a black-capped chickadee began to whistle merry tunes.

Have you noticed any new nature discoveries over the past few weeks? While the temperatures may be chilly, I hope you take some time to explore and enjoy the beauty of our snowy winter landscape.