Feeling blue because of the impending gray weather and early sunsets? Get outside and kick those pre-winter doldrums – there’s still plenty to explore this month! Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. November is a seedy month. Dozens of plants have finished their flowering glory…but let us not forget the glory of the seed-sending that often follows. Milkweed, goldenrod, and a whole variety of asters are sending their seeds flying on small whispy hairs, while jumpweed and burdock are certain to find you…or at least your pant-leg! Have a scavenger hunt or take a seed hike. Maybe start a seed collection…go crazy!
2. Go hunt for green. Many plants are brown and seedy – but not all. Try exploring for anything hardy that’s still defying the chilly air with green leaves – or even flowers! This could be a great opportunity to talk about adaptations that allow plants to extend their growing season into colder months. Some invasives, such as buckthorn, benefit from this strategy.
3. Build a fort or leaf pile. This is a great activity year-round – but especially fun in November, before the snow falls but after all the poison ivy is gone. Run around the woods worry-and-rash free! Also, there’s no joy like gathering a giant pile and leaves and, after a stick check, diving right in.
4. Watch for animals preparing for winter. Squirrels are caching acorns, chickadees are storing up thousands of seeds – in thousands of locations! – many bugs are looking for a warm winter’s hiding place, and you can still catch a few migrating birds. Research signs to investigate before you head outside so you know what to look for!
5. Watch for meteor showers. There are a few this month tha
t are supposed to be excellent. Check out the North Taurids on November 11-12 (best a
t midnight), and the Leonid meteor shower November 16-17 (best just b
6. …and, with the right attitude, the weather’s always right for a hike! (Or a game. :)