Tag Archives: winter

winter scene

Holiday Gifts for Nature Lovers

As we wrap up this eventful year, we’re reminded of all those that made it a little easier. To those on the front lines, those that provided support, and those that need their own break, we’re thinking of you! Now more than ever, the gift of love and appreciation is cherished. For a little something extra, check out these offerings.

1. Nature-themed Puzzles & Games

Have some fun this winter! Puzzles, memory games, bingo, mancala, and more are available at the online Mass Audubon Shop to help you stay smiling and entertained. Challenge your brain, and a friend!

2. Unique Experiences

Experiences are worth a thousand gifts! Make your gift unique this year by scheduling something fun to do together. Our programs, offered online and in-person following COVID-19 guidelines, will teach you to interpret the natural world and create lasting memories shared together. Or, visit a sanctuary to enjoy quality time outdoors on your own schedule.

3. Local Farm Products

Who doesn’t love to indulge in local treats? At the Drumlin Farm admissions window, there’s a whole suite of farm-fresh products that you can bring home, including:

  • Yarn, made from Drumlin Farm sheep wool
  • Soap, made from Drumlin Farm goat milk
  • Honey, collected from Drumlin Farm hives
  • Maple Syrup, collected from Mass Audubon Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary trees
  • Eggs, collected from Drumlin Farm chickens

Plus, stylish reusable Drumlin Farm-branded cloth bags to hold it all in! Create a personalized gift bag filled with treats the localvores in your life will love.

Please note: visiting the trails at Drumlin Farm currently requires online preregistration.

4. Feeders & Birding Gear

Bird feeders provide a perfect way to stay connected to nature while home-bound this winter. Fill it with seed and watch birds flock to your home! Binoculars let you notice the tiny details to aid in identification and field guides ensure your accuracy. Online ordering makes it easy too!

Feeling handy? Build a bird buffet with a crafty friend to make memories together and enjoy the birds!

5. Give the Gift of Membership

Give the gift of rivers, forests, marshes, and meadows. Members enjoy free admission to more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries, and many other great benefits, including member-only discounts on walks, talks, classes, and camps. Share your experiences in nature with a loved one all year long, and give the gift of a Mass Audubon membership.

Maple Sugaring Update: It’s Warm!

As you enjoy the unseasonably warm temperatures, this thought might be lingering in the back of your head:

Um…It’s February. Shouldn’t it be cold? And what does this mean for the winter activities I love?

For us at the farm, we have to think about how the warm weather might affect our maple sugaring season. Last year, we had an early start due to the mild winter. In the middle of the season, our collecting halted only for a moment, then ideal temperatures started again and we had a longer-than-usual season. We asked Farmer Sarah some questions about what this “spring spell” might mean for this year.

What are the ideal temperatures for maple sugaring?

40 degree days and 20 degree nights.

When did we start tapping the trees at Drumlin Farm this year?

Just before the first big snowfall in January.

How’s the season going so far?

So far the sap flow has been slow. This might be because of the erratic temperature swings, or maybe it has something to do with the drought last summer and the trees being stressed, some combo, or something else entirely.

How might the recent warm temperatures affect our taps?

We might see sap flow stop entirely. This happened in at least one of the warm spells last year. We need hard frosts at night to recharge the sap flow. The flow will start up again if it gets cold again, unless the trees reach the budding stage. If the warm temps continue long enough the trees will bud early, and that’s the end of the sugaring season (chemical changes in the trees/sap cause the sap to turn yellow and taste bad). Snow on the ground also helps prolong the season, so we might see a shorter season if we don’t get more snow.

So while this warm weather might be a relief for the winter blues, we’d like more winter, please! Our Pancake Breakfast could use some Drumlin Farm maple syrup!