December 2011

How to Stay Safe When It's Cold Outside

It's officially the first week of winter and some snow is finally appearing on the weather map. With that fact in mind and the recent blizzard out west, I've done some reflecting on how to properly plan for an outdoor excursion into cold, snowy weather for reasons including exercising, taking part in a winter sport and playing with children out in the elements.

 

Pick out clothes you can layer while you're getting dress as this will help you stay warm and protected while you're outside. Later, you can remove the layers when you start sweating but will have the needed gear to stay warm. Experiment until you find the right combination to wear outside while you're active. Wear shoes with good traction to prevent slips and falls from happening during wet or icy conditions.

Yellow Blooms That Add Cheer During the Winter

Winter Blooming Flowers

I'm lucky, in some ways, that I live in Florida where birds sing and flowers bloom year round. I have, however, visited the northern areas of the United States on several occasions during winter. When ever I spent too much time in the snow I missed the greenery of Florida. This fact lead me to want to find out if any flowers grew wild up north during winter. After clicking through a couple of “Google” pages I found one that does grow up north, even in the southern region of Canada.

How to Identify Bear Tracks in Winter

Black and Grizzly Bear Winter Tracking Guide

I always find it interesting how some animals scurry around during the winter, especially bears that people typically think of as a hibernating mammals during the cold months. Black bears still forage for food on warmer days as far north as North Carolina in the southestern U.S. Grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Forest wait until late December to start their hibernation. Black bears will sleep for long periods of time in the southeastern Appalachian mountain range but will wake up during streches of warmer weather.