Monday, February 15, 2010

Natural Happenings: Learn About Winter Trees, and Taste Them

winter tree
There are three, count them, THREE, winter tree identification workshops on our calendar this week. It was enough to get me to check when Arbor Day is! (Not until April.)

On Saturday morning, Cris Fleming will lead a tree ID workshop at the Audubon Naturalist Society's Woodend Sanctuary ($28-$39; registration required).

At 1:00 on Saturday, Karyn Molines is leading one at Jug Bay for the Maryland Native Plant Society. (Free - register by Friday).

And also at 1:00 on Saturday, Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of a book about DC's trees, is leading a winter tree tour on the grounds of the US Capitol for the US Botanic Garden ($8 for non-members; registration required).

You can't go wrong with any one of these walks -- all three trip leaders are experts and super-nice people as well.

On Sunday, there's an event for ages 6 to 8 at Gulf Branch Nature Center in Arlington, called "Trees are Tree-mendous!" It looks like this session will include a little winter tree identification as well as learning about the importance of trees.

And then, there are the maples. As we've mentioned before, this weekend is the Maple Sugar Festival at Wheaton Regional Park (11 to 3 on both Saturday and Sunday). They'll have someone there to explain the whole process and opportunities to taste both fresh sap and finished maple syrup, the latter ladled over little pancakes for your tasting pleasure. Weather permitting, they'll have a vat of sap boiling over the fire all weekend. It's all free.

Also getting in on the sugaring action: Meadowside Nature Center has sessions on Wednesday and Friday, and Brookside Nature Center has one on Friday.

And, as always, there are plenty more activities on our calendar. We'll see you out there!