Exploring Western Mass with Fresh Eyes This Winter

"The outside is the only place we can truly be inside the world." Daniel J. Rice


Winter is here and, as we are fond of saying at Adventure East, that doesn't mean that the adventures have to come to an end.

While the forest can seem silent and, in some ways, empty this time of year, winter can actually be the ideal time for exploration. What some may perceive as a desolate forest is actually a winter wonderland filled with life and activity; you just have to know where - and how - to look for it.

This time of year provides great opportunities to unleash your inner nature detective! Tracking is a fun way to get outside and get to know your local forests and wildlife more intimately. Spending time in a seemingly quiet forest and discovering the different kinds of animals that we share Western Mass with can be thrilling and incredibly rewarding.

This week I had the pleasure of chatting with Zhem Behr, our Caving & Hiking guide who specializes in tracking in the northeast. Zhem had the following to say about the unique experience of winter tracking in Western Mass:

   "I take to heart the title of the book that I promote by Paul Rezendes, Tracking and the Art of Seeing. Tracking for me is about rediscovering my ability to observe.

    In my Deep Tracking Series with Adventure East, I place myself in the seat of the observer. In the winter's snow, tracking footprints is made easy. We have a medium in which we can catch solid glimpses into the wildlife that surrounds us. We have a chance to capture a moment in time in each animal we come across. Identifying the animals becomes a test of our knowledge of everything we think we know, as well as what we have as solid evidence in front of us. Tracks, fur, middens, markings, debris left behind, patterns of the species...observable and tangible stuff that makes up tracking.

    While there has been sparse snow so far, the trails, tracks, habits, and patterns are all there, continuously, and are now more observable than in warmer months."


This winter, join us as Zhem leads treks into the various habitats of the world of our northeastern wild animals while we delve into Deep Tracking. You can find dates for his series, as well as other tracking adventures, on our calendar.

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