Get Outside in November

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.

Grasses seeding out on the UWSP campus in November.

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.

This photo taken on November 9th in Central Wisconsin!

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

Look for the constellation Taurus to see the best shooting “stars” on Nov. 11-12. There should be only a thin crescent moon…perfect viewing!

efore dawn).

6.   …and, with the right attitude, the weather’s always right for a hike!  (Or a game. :)


About jennicaskoug

A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer making her way in outdoor education.
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