The slow days of winter

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Dennis Clay

Outdoor-minded people participate in outdoor activities no matter the time of year or weather. There are limitations, for sure, such as extreme weather. Not many people will head outside when the wind is blowing 50 mph.

However, hunters will sit in a goose blind when the outside temperature is 23 degrees. A portable heater may be glowing at the feet of some.

Anglers will be fishing from shore after steelhead and trout, with a fire going strong, if legal to do so. Boats with a cabin or a top with clear side panels can keep anglers warm inside the enclosure as the rods are in the cold.

Bird watching can be a cold-weather sport, especially if the birders go from spot to spot in a warm vehicle. Winter provides more opportunities for these people, because there may be different bird species in the area now and the birds may be more concentrated.

There are many trap tournaments in the winter. Most all smaller towns have trap ranges. This can also be considered a family sport, when the youth are what the parents deem they are old enough.

Stay inside

There are many activities to consider when confined to the indoors, voluntarily or involuntarily.

Birding is one activity which can take place from inside the house. Even very young children will enjoy watching birds. Hang a bird feeder in the backyard and watch as the birds take advantage of the extra food.

This is a great way for a young family to participate together to learn the different species of birds. Keep a bird identification book handy or use an app on a smartphone to make identifications.

Some people keep various bird lists, such as a list of birds seen and identified in a month or a year or a lifetime. A couple or family could do the same.

Be prepared to explain about hawks eating smaller birds. Sometimes all small birds will disappear after watching 100 birds at one or more feeders. This is the time to carefully look in the trees or on a fence for a hawk.

Everything will be still until the first small bird stops at a feeder. The hawk will pounce and hold the bird in the talons, eventually killing it. Sometimes the hawk will fly away with the bird or eat it immediately.

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