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Nov 15, 2018







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Red foxes in the snow. Photo courtesy of Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.




January Wild Winter Walks

When: Saturday, Jan. 3, Sunday, Jan. 11, Sunday, Jan. 25, Saturday, Jan 31, from 1 to 3 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon
Where: Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, 23 Science Center Road, Holderness
Tickets: $8 members, $10 non-members; call 968-7194 to make a reservation
See: nhnature.org for wild winter walk dates in February and March




Walk and learn
A behind-the-scenes look into the winter lives of animals

01/01/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



Have you ever wondered what foxes do during the winter or how river otters spend the colder days? Take a walk on the wild side with Squam Lakes Natural Science Center with the kickoff to the series Wild Winter Walk: Guided Tour of the Live Animal Trail on Saturday, Jan. 3. 

Though the trails are closed from November to May, there is still a lot going on in terms of the wildlife. Naturalist Margaret Gillespie leads winter walks and wants visitors to have the opportunity to get a special view of the animals. 
“Most of the animals are still out there, and there is a chance to see them when there aren’t many people,” Gillespie said in a phone interview. “Some of them have their winter coats on, like foxes, deer and otters. It’s just so different in the winter.”
Offered for about a decade at the science center, the guided walk helps people learn firsthand how animals adapt to winter in New Hampshire. The walk takes place on the regular animal exhibit trail, about three quarters of a mile long. The program runs for two hours, starting with an indoor introduction before a guided walk through the woods. 
Depending on the amount of snow, visitors can walk the trail in snowshoes provided by the science center. After the outdoor portion, guests are invited back inside to enjoy hot chocolate and a live animal presentation featuring an animal from the walk. 
“They might get to see a beaver or coyote or owl and learn specifically how those animals are adapted to winter,” Gillespie said. 
Animals that will be out and about for viewing along the trail this month are coyotes, red foxes, bobcats, mountain lions, white tailed deer, river otters, hawks, owls and bald eagles. During the walk, Gillespie and other naturalists will share facts about the animals and their winter traits. For example, foxes stay warm by curling into a ball and putting their large, fluffy tails over their faces. White-tailed deer also grow nice warm coats but have a tough time walking in the snow with their pointed hooves, so they leave behind very distinct tracks. 
“We get to see some of the behavior of the animals more because they’re reacting to the people and the energy of the cold weather,” Gillespie said. 
The wild winter walks are family-friendly but are best for those ages 6 and older due to the trail walking. A staff naturalist leads the walk and a science center volunteer takes up the back of the group to provide additional information and help out as needed. 
 
As seen in the January 1, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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