Nature Notes

Get ready to embark on an adventure into the realm of woodland animals, plants, and insects. As you wander through the forest, you’ll encounter a diverse cast of creatures and vegetation. From scurrying squirrels to majestic deer to evergreen trees and flowering bushes and everything in between. Our furry and feathered friends, buzzing bugs, and all the bushes and trees that call the forest their home, each one plays a special role in the delicate balance of nature. Learning about what lives in woodlands not only adds excitement to your hiking journey but also fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for the natural world. So, let’s lace up our boots and explore the wonders of woodland creatures together!

Wildlife

When you’re out exploring nature, it’s important to know how to deal with and respect wildlife. Remember, animals in the wild are just that—wild. Keep a safe distance and never approach or try to touch them, even if they seem friendly. Observe them from afar and use binoculars to get a closer look. you encounter larger animals like deer or bears, stay calm and back away slowly without making sudden movements. Always stay on marked trails to avoid disturbing habitats and nesting areas. And never feed wildlife, as it can make them sick and dependent on humans for food. Let’s show respect for nature and its inhabitants while we enjoy our hikes!

Land trust members receive a free copy of the Essex Land Trust Wildlife Guide. Please contact us at info@essexlandtrust.org if you are interested in acquiring a copy for $8.95.

Plants

Welcome to the wonderful world of woodland plants. As you wander through the forest, you’ll encounter a fascinating array of greenery that plays a vital role in the ecosystem. From towering trees to tiny wildflowers, each plant has its own story to tell. Learning about woodland plants not only helps you appreciate the beauty of nature but also teaches you how to respect and coexist with the environment around you. So, let’s dive in and explore the magical world of woodland plants together!

Land trust members receive a free copy of the Essex Land Trust Plants, Pollinators & Invasives Guide. Please contact us at info@essexlandtrust.org if you are interested in acquiring a copy for $8.95.

Poison Ivy

When you’re out exploring nature, keep an eye out for poison ivy. It’s got three shiny leaves and can give you a really itchy rash if you touch it. Wear long sleeves, pants, and closed shoes to protect your skin. If you accidentally brush against it, wash the area with soap and water right away. Don’t scratch it, or it could get worse! And remember, if you’re not sure what it looks like, ask an adult or an ELT volunteer to help you spot it. Happy hiking!

Bees

When you’re exploring the great outdoors, watch out for ground bees. These buzzy insects like to build their nests in the ground, and if you step on or near their nest, they might sting you. You may see a warning sign or if you see a hole in the ground with lots of bees buzzing around it, steer clear! Walk softly and stay on marked trails to avoid disturbing their homes. If you do accidentally disturb a nest and bees start flying around you, don’t panic. Slowly and calmly walk away from the area until you’re out of their territory. Remember, bees are important for nature, so let’s give them their space while we enjoy the outdoors!

Ticks

When you’re out on the trails, be aware of ticks. They’re small bugs that can bite you and sometimes make you sick. Wear long pants and socks and use insect repellent to keep them away. After your hike, check yourself for ticks, especially in warm, hidden spots like behind your knees and in your hair. If you find one, ask an adult to help you remove it carefully with tweezers. Don’t worry, as long as you’re careful, ticks won’t ruin your outdoor fun!