Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Well the flu season is here, and I have noticed a large reduction of people playing Frisbee by the lake, or reading under a shade tree. This is a sure sign we are in late fall and early winter, when people start to move indoors and the days are shortening. I have a secret that I am certain outdoor enthusiasts will send me hate mail for spilling, but winter is the best time to get outside!
Every spring I visit Shaw's Nature Reserve, and I am always awed by the beauty of Missouri's natural areas greening up from the warming temperatures and soaking rains. Its really a beautiful sight, and sometimes you can get a beautiful panoramic view between the hundreds of visitors that had the same idea as you. Now I visit this area during the winter, and I am often the only visitor there, and because the trees are free from leaves, your view is unobstructed for miles so you can see the once hidden creatures of the forests, and this time of year you can experience thousands of migrating birds flowing like waves through the prairies.
Although, use caution, as fall and winter are also months of hunting season, so be sure the area you are visiting is not a permitted hunting area, the Missouri department of Conservation and the Missouri State Parks database are great tools to find areas safe from hunting. Keep in mind, if you are a photographer, you can hunt anywhere, and shoot as much as you want!
Winter is also a great time to visit tourist locations that are often overcrowded. I always wince when I drive by the Saint Louis Zoo on the hottest day in July and see the parking lot filled to the brim. The best time to visit the zoo is during the winter, I always visit during the winter and have never experienced a line, and have always gotten a close up view of everything without the hustle and bustle of competing crowds. Zoo specimens also tend to relax during the hot days of summer, so during the winter you actually get to see the animals moving about and enjoying the cool air!
The Missouri Botanical Garden is a attraction I visit multiple times throughout the year, and it is often neglected through the winter months. There is so much to learn about horticulture throughout the winter, and the Missouri Botanical Garden's grounds under a fresh blanket of snow is a sight to behold.
Free yourself from the bounds and walls of the indoors this winter and enjoy the fresh winter air, it really makes you appreciate hot chocolate that much more!
Posted by Dan Porter at 8:44 AM