This has been a long winter for snow and harsh weather. As I’m writing this, it’s snowing again. Actually, I really like snow (as long as people aren’t getting hurt in it) and love how it blankets our hills, forests, and prairies with its stark whiteness.

This has been a long winter for snow and harsh weather. As I’m writing this, it’s snowing again. Actually, I really like snow (as long as people aren’t getting hurt in it) and love how it blankets our hills, forests, and prairies with its stark whiteness. It seems when we have winters like this, cabin fever gets a hold of us earlier and stronger. Usually by March, and certainly by April, we’re ready to burst out of doors to get some fresh air and exercise.

It doesn’t have to be like that – you don’t have to wait until you’re ready to scream, climb the walls, or for sixty degree weather before you decide to get out and enjoy the outdoors again. There’s nothing like a winter walk in the afternoon on a snowy day. It’s a great time to think and contemplate. Why not bundle up and take a walk, even if it is snowing?

Taking a walk while it’s snowing is one of my favorite times to enjoy the woods. There seems to a special quietness with snow. Sometimes, it’s so quiet you can hear the snowflakes landing on the trees or ground. The birds and other animals aren’t expecting to see anyone invading their winter wonderland, so the chances to see wildlife are often a lot better. It’s also one of my favorite times to strap on my camera and take nature shots. I love photographing ice formations, snow on trees, and wildlife.

There are many wonderful natural areas to visit in Eastern Jackson County, some have facilities and some don’t. Obviously the ones that don’t have restrooms or other building are frequented less often, but this time of year they can be absolutely wonderful.

Try out some of the local city parks; George Owens Park in Independence, and Martha Lafite in Liberty are some of my favorites. Jackson County has some great out-of-the-way spots like Monkey Mountain, Blue & Gray Park, Little Blue Trace, and Landahl Park to name a few. The Missouri Department of Conservation has some good get-a-ways like the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area or Burr Oak Woods.

Wherever your adventures take you, sometimes it’s good to get out in the white to feel good about living GREEN! Bundle up and have a great time!