Here are a few events coming up at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve

albany pine bush coyote camera trap 2013-December

One of the events is about coyotes. The animals sometimes show up on camera traps in the preserve, as above. / photo: Albany Pine Bush Preserve

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve has a bunch of events coming up over the next few months -- about nature, history, or just being outdoors -- for both adults and kids.

Here are a few that caught our eye...

Events are $3 per person / $5 per family unless otherwise noted. See the Pine Bush site for info aobut registration.

Feb 3: Groggy Groundhogs
"Did Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow on February 2nd? Whether you call them groundhogs or woodchucks, join us to learn more about these common mammals. We will also discuss the origins of Groundhog Day and make our own predictions about how long winter will last! We will start inside and then continue outside for a 0.9-mile hike. If there is snow on the ground, we will snowshoe approximately one-half mile. Snowshoes will be provided to program participants. All ages." 11 am-12:30 pm

February 11: Feisty Fishers
"Are fishers cats? Do they really eat fish? Come find answers to these questions and more at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center. We will start inside with a short talk about the history and biology of the fisher. Then we will continue outside for a walk in the preserve as we look for signs of the fisher. We plan to walk approximately one mile. Ages 6+." 1-2:30 pm

February 15: The History of the Rapp Road Community
"In the 1920's Reverend Louis W. Parson and his wife moved to Albany from Shubuta, Mississippi, among millions of African Americans in the Great Migration who left the South to escape racial and economic oppression. Dissatisfied with living conditions in the South End, Rev. Parson and William Toliver bought farm land in the Pine Bush which reminded them of Mississippi. Join us this evening to celebrate Black History Month with a lecture by the Rapp Road Historical Society detailing the history of this New York State and National Historic District. Snacks and discussion start at 6:30pm; the lecture will begin at 7:00pm. Ages 15+. Free!"

February 17: Cunning Coyotes
"Did you ever hear a coyote howl? Do you wonder where they are going or what they might be doing? Come find answers to these questions and more at the Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center. We will start inside with a short talk about the history and biology of the eastern coyote, then hike 0.9 miles in the preserve as we pause to look for coyote signs and explore the habitat of one of the smartest, most elusive animals in the Pine Bush. Ages 6+." 11 am-1 pm

February 19: Build A Bird (Presidents Day)
"Have you ever wondered why some birds have long, narrow beaks and others have short, sharp beaks? Learn about how birds' bodies are built for the places they live, the things they eat and more! We will use some local Pine Bush birds as examples of how birds are different from each other. Then, use your knowledge and imagination to design your own Pine Bush bird from a variety of materials. All ages." 1-2 pm

February 21: Winter's Eve Nature Sketching
"The cold weather and short days of winter mean many of us spend less time enjoying and connecting with nature. During this indoor, evening program we will focus on improving our drawing skills while we spend time appreciating living and once-living objects and photographs of the Pine Bush Preserve. Participants are welcome to bring their own materials, purchase sketchbooks at the start of the program, or create their own sketchbooks out of materials we will provide. Adults only." 6:30-8 pm

February 24: Snowshoeing in the Barrens
"Have you tried snowshoeing? The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is a great place to get started with this fun sport. Join us for a 0.9-mile hike on snowshoes. We'll explore the frozen landscape of the pine barrens and learn the basics of snowshoeing. Snowshoes will be provided to program participants. If there is not enough snow on the ground, we will hike without snowshoes. Ages 6+." 10:30 am-noon

March 1: Full Moon Owls and Hors d'oeuvres
"Join us for a hike under the full moon while stopping periodically to listen for the calls of owls in the Pine Bush Preserve. Meet us at the Discovery Center where we will enjoy some light snacks and an indoor presentation then caravan over to another trailhead for our 1.2-mile hike. Participants are responsible for providing their own transportation. Adults only." 6-8 pm

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