Trails: Very good skiing in most areas. A few open grassy areas but should be good over the weekend. Nice base but need more snow. Not enough base to set a track.
Monday, the members of Friends of Crossroads will meet to make plans for the new year and also, to take down the holiday decorations. It’s always disappointing when the holidays are over, though I will not miss the novelty songs on the radio. No more “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”. Actually, Rudolph and all of the other reindeer lack front teeth. And so do whitetail deer around here.
As fawns, members of the deer family have baby teeth. At about age 2, these are replaced by permanent teeth which include incisors (cutting teeth) on their lower jaws, then a gap and a set of upper and lower grinding teeth. A deer eats by holding plants against its hard upper palate and ripping off pieces, then digesting the food in a multiple-chambered stomach and by chewing cud (like a cow.)
Researchers have learned that deer in the United States eat as many as 600 different kinds of food, and that they eat different kinds of plants in different seasons. They eat juicy leaves, flowers and grass in spring and summer, acorns and fruits in fall, and the buds of woody plants and evergreen foliage in winter. Researchers have come to realize that in early winter, deer also eat fallen leaves and the dry stalks of flowering plants like goldenrod and large leaf aster, at least until they are buried by snow. Many believe deer that instinctively sense which food sources will best meet their nutritional needs.
Visitors often comment that Crossroads must be a great place for deer because we have so many arbor vitae (white cedar). Well, deer certainly prefer these evergreens, but careful observation will reveal that they have eaten most of the twigs they can reach, creating a browse line throughout our property. But it’s just wrong to think that one species is sufficient to supply the dietary needs for deer—or any wildlife, for that matter. In fact, researchers have learned that deer which live solely on cedar are not as healthy as those who eat a variety of different foods, even if other food is not high quality. Wildlife benefits from diversity.
Diversity in diet may sound oh, so familiar. Human dietitians recommend the same thing. (Think New Year’s Resolution!) Eating a variety of foods helps humans obtain an array of vitamins and minerals, and a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
At their November meeting, the Crossroads Board of Directors determined that the education theme and an action goal for 2013 would be “Biodiversity.” They believe that increasing the variety of trees and plant species on the land will result in creating healthier wildlife habitats as well. Diversity of all types of living things will increase the quality of the ecosystem.
To learn about wildlife diversity, adult learners should consider enrolling one of the Clearing in Winter classes which will be held at Crossroads in January. A four week course called “Water and Wildlife” will be offered on Mondays from 1:30-3:00. On four Tuesdays, from 10:00-12:00 “Beyond Birding 101” will help intermediate level bird watchers learn identification and behavior characteristics of Door County birds. Tuition for each class is $50. For more information and to register, contact http://theclearing.org/current/index.shtml
The program “The History of Penny Candy” will be offered on Saturday, January 5 at 2:00. Penny candy is a cherished memory of anyone mature enough to remember when candy really did cost a penny. Learn how Tootsie Rolls got their name, why salt water taffy is not made with salt water, and if the name Black Crows was a typo, what were the candies supposed to be called? Samples will help stimulate memories and taste buds. Free and open to the public. Lecture hall of the Collins Learning Center.
When there is adequate snow, Crossroads grooms trails for traditional cross-county and skate skiing and also rolls our trails for hikers/pet walkers. These trails are open every day (except when deteriorating conditions makes skiing impossible) We request that hikers stay off the designated ski trails. Each Sunday afternoon when conditions are good, we hold a Community Ski, inviting members of the community to use our skis and snowshoes free of charge. Loaner skis are available between 1:30-3:30 on Sundays and we ask that equipment be returned by dark.
Saturday, January 5, 2:00 Lecture: The History of Penny Candy
Penny candy is a cherished memory of anyone mature enough to remember when candy really did cost a penny. Learn how Tootsie Rolls got their name, why salt water taffy is not made with salt water, and if the name Black Crows was a typo, what were the candies supposed to be called?. Samples will help stimulate memories and taste buds. Free and open to the public. Lecture hall of the Collins Learning Center.
Sunday, January 6, 1:30-3:30 Community Ski
Each Sunday afternoon when conditions are good, we hold a Community Ski, inviting members of the community to use our skis and snowshoes free of charge. Loaner skis are available between 1:30-3:30 on Sundays and we ask that equipment be returned by dark. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.
Monday, January 7, 6:30 Friends of Crossroads
Friends of Crossroads will meet at to Un-Deck the Halls of the Collins Learning Center and to make plans for the coming year. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.