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Back to Class, Creepy Critters and a Halloween Night Hike, Too


Published: 09.24.2020

As September winds down and we step into October, Naturalist Marianne Hudson has plenty in store for us—at Russell Crossroads and out in the forest.

Wildlife Presentations

Back to Class!
Saturday, September 26 – 9am-1pm
Naturalist Cabin at Russell Crossroads

Supplement your student’s science lessons with a visit to the Naturalist’s Cabin! Join Naturalist Marianne during any of the above scheduled times to discuss how various Russell Forest residents are CLASSIFIED. Representatives from the bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, and insect groups will be at the Cabin to display how their similarities and differences place them in separate categories. Participants will discover how animals’ similarities and differences help us categorize them. Each variety of critter will be used to illustrate how various features are used to categorize and classify living things.

Creepy Critters
Saturday, October 4 – 9am-2pm

Saturday, October 31 – During Fall Family Festival, 9am-2pm
Naturalist Cabin at Russell Crossroads

All of nature is equally amazing and valuable, but the truth is some critters give us the creeps. This month, stop by the Naturalist’s Cabin to see some specimens that are apt to cause a chill. Some will have eight legs and some will have none, but all will be on display for learning and discovery. Included will be a large OWL whooooose features make it perfect material for Halloween decorations. No need to be squeamish or fearful! We will discuss the positive attributes of our wild neighbors who lurk in the shadows. Live animals—bring your camera. No charge—everyone is welcome!

Guided Nature Tours

Let’s spend the morning in the woods!
Saturday, September 26 – 7am

Meet at Willow Point Cutoff Trailhead

For almost two hours, we will be in the woods identifying the variety of plant and animal life we discover. In addition to learning from the finds in the forest, we will search for wet residents keeping cool as the season prepares for change. This energetic hike will offer both learning and exercise. Insect repellent and sunscreen will be provided – bring your own drinking water and comfortable shoes. Appropriate for participants ages 5-105.

It’s fall y’all!!
Saturday, October 4 – 3pm

Meet at Willow Point Cutoff Trailhead

Join us on an autumn jaunt and note the changing of the seasons. Changes are happening everywhere as the animals and plants of Russell Forest prepare for upcoming low temperatures. We will spend time learning about how the forest changes into its autumn wardrobe and discover the amazing features that allow this transition to happen. Impromptu discoveries always abound as we spend time in this outdoor classroom. Learn while you exercise! Appropriate for participants ages 5–105.

Let’s get spooky!
Saturday, October 31 – 5:45pm

Meet at Wilson Road Trailhead

We will be deep in the woods as night falls on the scariest day of the year! We will tell GHOST STORIES and focus on discussing CRYPTOZOOLOGY and wildlife that *could* hurt us as we wind through the Russell Forest trails. This is NOT a haunted trail experience, it is an immersive nature adventure that will include content relevant to Halloween! Flashlights will be provided. Costumes are optional!

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED! There is a $10 fee for the Guided Nature Tours. Please contact our Naturalist at 256.496.2710 to inquire and to register. Marianne can also be contacted at [email protected].

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 and sunscreen. Insect repellent is provided. Binoculars and cameras are welcome. There are no bathrooms on the Forest Trails.

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