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Whispers from the Woods

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Phenology for February in Portage Parks

• Full moon (Snow Moon or Hunger Moon) – Feb. 3rd    New Moon – Feb 18th   

• Look in the southeast sky for the stars in the constellation Scorpio’s tail, Shaula and Lesath. American Indians referred to them as “The Harbingers of Spring”. 

• Look for the conjunction of  the moon, Venus,  and Mars in the western night sky on Feb. 20th . Jupiter and its 4 moons on Feb. 6th in the Eastern sky. And watch for Saturn and Mercury in the southeast skies as they make their appearance in the predawn hours in mid Feb. 

• Ground Hog Day Feb 2nd.  Ground Hog SAW his shadow…6 more weeks of winter. 

• Look for “sheds” in the woods as deer begin to loose their antlers.

•  Keep an eye out for early waterfowl migrants on open water in late Feb.

• As temperatures rise, Maple trees begin to awake in late Feb., yielding sweet sap which will be boiled down to make maple syrup.

• Warm, sunny days will bring out Mourning Cloak butterflies to sip on tree sap flowing from wounded trees.

• Watch for Golden-crowned Kinglets feeding with flocks of Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Titmice.

• Skunk Cabbage should be emerging and flowering in wetland areas by late Feb.

• Eagles and Owls are sitting on eggs. Young will hatch early next month. 

• Woods are waking up. Listen for Wood Frogs “quacking” chorus when vernal pools first show open water. And listen for woodpeckers drumming on trees, this is their territorial call.

• Clean and erect nest boxes for Wood Ducks, Kestrels, and Bluebirds. 

Make sure to check out http://portageparkdistrict.org for upcoming programs and hikes!

Upcoming Programs

Birding for the Ordinary Average Guy/Gal

Come join Portage Park District volunteer Naturalist Joe Malmisur and Dr. Sarah Mabey on Monday Feb 9th  for the fourth in the Park District’s birding series. It doesn’t matter if you did not attend prior sessions. There is always a brief review of things that were covered. The fourth  session will focus on Migration, Habitat, and Dan Best, Senior Naturalist from Geauga Park District will discuss birding by season.  Program is from  7:00-9:00 in the Senior Center 705 Oakwood St. Ravenna Ohio.

Upcoming Hikes

The Portage Park District is here to help you LOVE winter. Ever want to try snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing? Join volunteer instructors and rent equipment from Geiger Ski Haus at the parks, (available for these programs*) and give it a shot! Skis $10/2 hours; shoes $6/2 hours. For more information, please contact Volunteer Naturalist Joe Malmisur at Draco1027@gmail.com or call 330-770-3643.

2/7 – Stars and Moon Snowshoe Hike – 7:00pm – 9:00pm  Morgan Preserve (meet at parking lot on Rt 44)

2/8 – x country Skiing – Rt 700 Trail head 2:00pm – 4:00pm

2/15 – x country Skiing – 2:00pm – 4:00 pm Towner’s Woods

2/21 – x country skiing – 10:00am – 12:00pm Franklin Connector Trail

2/22 – Snowshoe hike – 2:00-4:00 Camp Spelman

X-Country Skiing is dependent on snow. Hikes will occur whether there is snow or not.