This year I thought that instead of just blogging about things in the third person, it was time to get out and experience some of them for myself. So with that in mind, the first adventure for my year of experiencing the countryside around us in a new way, was to snowshoe. Mosquito Hill Nature Center, just outside of New London, Wisconsin is offering Serious Snowshoe Sundays in January and February from Noon to 3 p.m., it seemed like a good beginning. You can take the entire 8 week course, and to be honest as a newbie that seemed a bit daunting, so I decided just to go for one Sunday to see how it went. When we arrived, we paid our fee at the office and then after chatting with some folks around us, some were newbies and some had gone snowshoeing in the past, the class began. The word class sounds so formal, it was really Mary and Don talking to us about the trails, and the snowshoes, that it is important to stay well hydrated on the trail and to be dressed appropriately for the temperatures, followed by some light stretching to ready our bodies for the trail that lay before us. After getting our snowshoes, then the task of putting on the snowshoes was at times a bit comical, but for the most part did rather well. Within the small group of the 4 of us, we have varying skill levels, Diana and I who had never gone snowshoeing…ever, and Ann who snowshoes several times a season, and Barb who has been snowshoeing since 1999ish, and both Ann and Barb can snowshoe close to where they live as well. Thankfully, Barb thought it might be helpful for me to have a set of poles, which Don kindly loaned me and adjusted for me as well. I must say I think the poles made for more stability with the snowshoes. Anyone who has walked beside me, knows that walking a straight line is a challenge for me with regular shoes, let alone snow shoes, so the poles were a welcome addition. It was a brisk, bright day and the entire group (class) set off on the trail. We kept to the back of the pack, so that we could visit with one another as we worked our way along the trail. Deer tracks were plentiful and the day was beautiful and still, except for the folks snowmobiling on the river and the sound of our own voices, which all seemed so small compared to the gorgeous day in the woods. The decision was ours as to how far we went on the trails and I believe we wound up doing approximately 1.5 miles of the trails, we were out on the trails about 1.75 hours. There were those people who returned before us and those who came in after us. There were light snacks and bottled water provided as well, so you could refuel upon your return. We all enjoyed ourselves, and I would go again for sure. Mosquito Hill has snowshoe rental available, so if you have thought you have to put a lot of upfront costs into snowshoes and gear, you really don’t. So thank you Mary Swifka for checking on us on the trail, and thank you Diana, Ann and Barb….I had a blast and it was such fun! MHNC-SnowshoeTrails2010-11
An informative 2 hour program especially for families will explore all about our only natural satellite ,the Moon and will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Mosquito Hill Nature Center on Friday, March 18th. Through hands-on activities many questions will be answered, learning has never been so much fun. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for students, or $12 per family. Please register by March 15th, by calling 920-779-6433.
Mosquito Hill Nature Center’s Butterfly House open Wednesday for it’s 16th season. Butterfly House is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays through August 29th. A $1 per person donation is asked to help fray operating expenses of the house. Private guided tours are available for organized groups on Thursdays and Fridays for a fee of $2 per person. For an additional 50 cents, groups may enjoy an ice cream treat following their tour. Advance reservations are required. The Butterfly House allows visitors to walk among the butterflies in their natural habitat. Visitors may also view the butterfly nursery where they can observe how butterflies are reared for release into the house and witness metamorphosis. This and other excellent programs are happening throughout the summer and fall at Mosquito Hill, log onto www.mosquitohill.com to see what other wonderful things there are to do and see. Mosquito Hill is located 2 miles east of New London off County S at the end of Rogers Rd.