Articles & News

Fabulous Furs and the Arrival of Springtime

Published: 02.21.2023

Winding down February, Naturalist Marianne teaches us about fabulous furs in the forest then heralds the arrival of springtime in March!

Wildlife Presentations

Furs of the Forest
Saturday, February 25 – 7am–1pm
Naturalist Cabin at Russell Crossroads

A variety of naturally warm pelts from Russell Forest specimens 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!

*A live forest creature will also be with Naturalist Marianne at the start of Russell Forest Run on February 25.

An Invitation to Spring!
Saturday, March 18 – 9am–1pm
Saturday, March 25 – 9am–1pm
Naturalist Cabin at Russell Crossroads

March is the time to prepare your yard for springtime birds and other wildlife. Preparing your property for the warm season is an entirely different type of “spring cleaning,” and Naturalist Marianne will be here to advise what to do, and what not do to in order to attract or discourage your wild neighbors’ visits. Tips about cleaning and maintaining feeders and nest boxes, along with advice on creating specific mini-habitats in your yard will have your place ready for upcoming wildlife activity. A variety of applicable feeding, housing, and habitat suggestions will have you stepping confidently into Spring. Bring your questions, and your camera, because Marianne will have a wild visitor with her throughout the day. Experience is appropriate for all ages. No charge—everyone is welcome!

Guided Nature Tour

Saturday, March 18 – 2pm
Meet at Willow Point Cutoff Trailhead

Join Naturalist Marianne Hudson for an educational foray into a forest in transition. No longer winter, but just the cusp of spring, we will see signs of both seasons and note the changes that usher one out and the other in. March means buds, babies, and birdsong – and we will explore the trails to find evidence that Spring is creeping into our piece of paradise. This energetic hike will offer both learning and exercise. Appropriate for participants ages 5 – 105.

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED! There is a $10 fee for this program. Please contact Naturalist Marianne at 256.496.2710 to inquire and to register.

 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.


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