One of the many benefits of working at Seven Ponds is coming to the nature center every day. Regular attendance provides us with the opportunity to watch very closely the seasonal changes that take place in the fields and forests and waters around Seven Ponds.
Spring brings renewal, with the blooming of the woodland flowers, the greening of the forests, the calls of frogs and toads, and the influx of birds migrating north from the tropics. Summer provides us with the opportunity to watch wildlife feeding and rearing their offspring, enjoy butterflies flitting across the fields, and see the tall grass prairie truly come into its own with grasses and prairie flowers towering over our heads. In autumn the Canada Geese and Sandhill Cranes announce for all that change is in the air – change that we see in the color on the trees, and change that we feel with refreshingly chilly October nights.
And – we all know – that autumn change will inevitably lead to winter. The days grow shorter. The colorful leaves drop from the trees and litter the forest floor. The chill in the air has a bit more bite to it, and we add an extra layer or two of clothing to stay comfortable. Dark-eyed Juncos (called snowbirds by many) show up at our feeders, where we will see them for the next several months. We awake to find frost coving our lawn – and our car windows need scraping.
Winter will be upon us soon! With these changes, some people head south with the migrating flocks of birds, choosing to spend their winter months in the warmer climes of Florida, Arizona, or Texas. But for those who stay, winter presents a choice: remain indoors, essentially waiting out winter like the hibernating meadow jumping mice or venture outdoors to embrace all that the season has to offer.
If you choose to stay, and if you choose to venture out, we invite you to visit the nature center often to witness the wonders of a Michigan winter. You may observe the winter birds – those who also choose to stay – excelling in winter survival. You may watch squirrels and deer and (if you’re lucky!) weasels seemingly festive in the face of winter’s icy chill. You may awake one morning to a crystallized landscape, silent with the hush of freshly fallen snow – a truly glorious time to be the first one on the trail in the morning.
The trails at Seven Ponds are open all winter. Not groomed, but ready for you to make tracks. If the snow is deep, wear your boots, or bring snowshoes or cross-country skis. Even on the coldest of days, a world of treasure awaits those willing to brave the elements. What will you discover this winter? Don’t let the winter cold keep you indoors! I hope to see you on the snow-covered trails at Seven Ponds in the coming months.
Daryl Bernard, Executive Director
Around the Center
Eagle Scout Project
After many months of planning and preparation, local Scout Brendan P. Leddy (Troop 189), a senior at Clarkston High School, completed his Eagle Scout project at Seven Ponds. After considering several possible ideas, Brendan decided on a two-part project, both aimed at enhancing the quality of life for birds at Seven Ponds: completely revamping one of our bird feeding stations, and constructing twenty high-quality bluebird houses. He developed a plan, received approval, and gathered materials. Over the weekend of September 29-30 Brendan and his crew converged at the nature center and worked hard for two straight days to complete the project. It didn’t take long for the birds to adapt to the new feeders, which can be seen in full action just outside the windows of our Discovery Room. The bluebird nest boxes will be placed at the nature center’s Richie Pond Preserve on Hosner Road, where we currently do not have any bird houses. Thanks to Brendan for a great job and for his contribution to Seven Ponds Nature Center.
A Cozy Beehive
In memory of her daughter Lucille, Ruth Woods donated money to create something special for the nature center. It was decided that a small renovation of the Bee Naish Memorial Library would house a new reading nook for children called, “The Beehive”. Come curl up under the giant leaves in a bed of nature themed pillows and read your favorite book.
Thanks to a grant given to the nature center by Tau Beta Association, the long-awaited Critter Corner renovation has been completed. Come see the ambassador animals in their brand-new display located in the Discovery Room.