Hibernating is for the bears!

Tomorrow is the first day of October, and this morning there was a definite chill in the air. I can sense the change of seasons, and have noticed that my back yard birds and the animals in the park can sense it too. The wheel is turning, winter is coming, and all the animals (human or otherwise) need to prepare.

2015_09_30_Chagrin River Park_003There is an abundance of white-tailed deer in our area, and almost every night they visit our back yard bird feeders. Unless I remember to bring the feeders inside at dusk, they will be empty in the morning. That behavior continues year-round.The nocturnal visits of deer families don’t change with the seasons. However, every year at this time, I can see a change in their behavior when I walk the trails of our neighborhood park. When autumn arrives, more deer venture out of the deep woods and into the parts of the park where they encounter people walking the trails. It is interesting to share the trails with the deer, turkeys, and other animals. Just remember that they are wild animals, and it is important to “keep the wild in wildlife.” As this sign in our park reminds us, don’t feed the wild animals!

Here are a few white-tail deer, a doe and two young bucks, that I saw in the park this week:

Autumn is a wonderful time to walk the trails, and we have many parks in our area where walkers can get out to enjoy the changing seasons. There are short walks and long ones; strenuous, breath-taking hilly trails, easy level trails, and even paved trails designed for people with wheelchairs or walkers. Everyone can find trails  in our parks that are suited to their needs. So, as the saying goes, “pick your poison.” Find a park near you and get out along the trails. You are guaranteed to get plenty of fresh air and exercise; to see old friends and meet new people; and to have opportunities to experience the animals in their natural habitat. Don’t hibernate! Leave that for the bears. Instead, make plans to get out and walk the trails this winter. It’s invigorating, and, believe it or not, it’s good for you…physically and mentally too.

Look for me in the park this winter, I plan to be there.

Trail Walker

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