March 26, 2014 —
While it may be hard to believe, given lingering low temperatures and a still-bleak landscape littered with dirty aging snow, spring is underway. Even for those of us who regularly venture outside to enjoy winter’s many fine qualities, this past winter has felt exceptionally long, punishingly cold and unusually restrictive.
Digging out from under repeated heavy snowstorms, cabin fever seemed more prevalent than usual. As a result, the need to reconnect with the outdoor world is strong.
It’s probably fair to say we’re all winter weary by now, and eager for any sign—no matter how subtle—of seasonal progress. Keep watch for the golden glow that is beginning to emanate from willows in the region. A close look at many shrubby plants, like forsythia, will reveal buds preparing to burst in coming weeks. Other colors are intensifying too, with reddish stalks suddenly creating patches of pink puffs in otherwise grey landscapes.
One of the most satisfying ways to reconnect with nature’s energizing force is to visit regional waterfalls flowing vigorously with spring thaw. The visual, auditory and olfactory experience provided by the rushing waters is a tonic to both body and spirit.
The Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Dingmans Ferry, PA is hosting waterfall tours on April 5 and 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. A seat in the van is $12. Call 570/828-2319 or email firstname.lastname@example.org  for reservations.
Amphibians are also stirring for spring. PEEC will offer programs on salamanders and frogs on April 12 and 27, from 1 to 3 p.m., and conduct an evening search for the tiny tree frogs known as spring peepers on April 12, from 8 to 9 p.m. PEEC’s Earth Day Festival is slated for April 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with hands-on learning stations, interpretive hikes, conservation exhibits, animals, crafts, food, music and more. Visit www.peec.org  for more information.