Articles & News

A Wintertime Bustle and Furs in the Forest

Published: 01.23.2024

It’s cold in the January and February forest, but there’s more activity than you might think. Closing out January and moving into February, Naturalist Marianne teaches us all about it.

Wildlife Presentations

Wintertime Bustle
Saturday, January 27 – 9am-1pm, drop by anytime

Join Naturalist Marianne for an informative discussion about the animals who are actually MORE ACTIVE in the winter! There are some species that you are more likely to see in January than you would on a warm summer day. Find out why deer, eagles, and skunks are all more visible now than they were months ago. Also find out where they are and what they’re doing when we don’t see them! We will spend time examining multiple artifacts from white-tailed deer, which are more active in Russell Forest this month than they are any other time of year—stop by and find out WHY! You will be inspired to appreciate the wild dramas being lived out all around us. Program is appropriate for all ages. No charge—everyone is welcome!

Furs of the Forest
Saturday, February 17 – 8am-1pm
Saturday, February 24 – 7am-1pm
Naturalist Cabin at Russell Crossroads

A variety of naturally warm pelt specimens from Russell Forest will be on hand in the Naturalist Cabin for you to hold, touch, and discover. Each species has its own needs, and those needs are fully met by the fur and feathers that protect and sustain animal life. For centuries, humans have looked to furs as the ultimate in warmth and comfort. Furs enable Russell Forest residents to withstand cold temperatures and soaking rains; some species even comfortably swim in frigid Lake Martin waters. A close look at the structure of furs and how their design makes all this possible will give you a new appreciation for wild coats and coverings of all types. Presentation is hands-on and features lots to touch, hold, and study. Appropriate for all ages—stop by and learn! Come anytime between the hours listed. No charge—everyone is welcome!

Guided Nature Tours

A Foray into the Winter Forest
Saturday, January 27 – 2pm

Meet at Willow Point Cutoff Trailhead

This energetic hike is the perfect way to kick-start your standard New Year’s resolutions of exercising and appreciating the nature that surrounds you! Join Naturalist Marianne for an educational foray into our winter forest. The lifestyles of some Russell Forest residents change pace in the winter, but signs of life are everywhere. Find out which denizens are dormant and which are dynamic: cold weather won’t slow us down!  We will search for signs of increasing activity while the day warms. Appropriate for warmly dressed participants ages 5–105.

Winter Forest Babies
Saturday, February, 17 – 2pm
Meet at Adamson Road Trailhead

Join Russell Lands’ Naturalist Marianne for an educational foray into our winter forest. Even though it’s February, some Russell Forest residents are already having young! We will discuss the habitat needs of these animals and look for evidence of their activities. Signs of life are everywhere! This energetic hike is intended to catalyze appreciation for the nature that surrounds you.  Appropriate for warmly dressed participants ages 5–105.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED FOR THESE ACTIVITIES! There is a $10 fee for this program. Please contact our Naturalist at 256.496.2710 to inquire and to register in advance.

For all Guided Nature Tours: It is recommended that participants have a moderate fitness level and are able to stand or walk for at least two hours. Walking pace will be relaxed with frequent stops. Comfortable, seasonally appropriate clothing and shoes are advised. Participants may also wish to bring bottled water, sunscreen and insect repellent. Binoculars and cameras are welcome. There are no bathrooms on the Forest Trails.


Previous Article Next Article