5 Ways To Get Outdoors This Spring
by Andrea Haas
Spring is near and soon the weather will be warming up, flowers will be blooming and everything will be turning green. Why not get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors? Here’s a list of 5 fun outdoor activities to try this spring!
Geo-caching is hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website. You will need to go to www.geocaching.com and register for a free membership, enter your zip code to search for geocaches in your area, and then enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS device. Basically, geocaching is a real world outdoor treasure hunting game! Not only would it be fun to try and find each hidden geocache, you will get to enjoy the different scenery along the way to the different locations!
Morel Mushroom Hunting
South facing slopes will get more sun and that’s where you will probably find the first ones. I had the best luck finding them under oak trees on my property last year, but they also tend to grow under Elm, Ash and Poplar trees. Searching for them on a muggy day after a rain shower will probably be your best bet. Once you find one, keep looking around that area, as you will likely find more close by! Once you get home soak them in water for a couple of hours to rinse out any bugs and then they’re ready to eat!
Here is how I made mine: (link for recipe, or feel free to post the recipe in this blog) http://huntressview.blogspot.com/2015/04/fried-morel-mushrooms-recipe.html
Learning your way around a digital camera can be tricky, but you don’t have to be a professional photographer to enjoy taking pictures. I feel one of the best ways to learn is to just get outside and do it! I have had a digital camera for a few years but have never tried to use it outside of auto mode until about a month ago. Taking pictures of wildlife has proven to be a great way for me to learn and spring is a great time of year to do just that!
I started by getting my camera off of auto and taking multiple pictures of the same object, but changing the settings as I go. This helped me identify the effect that each setting change had on each photo. After that, I tried photographing wildlife. I noticed there had been a lot of ducks on our pond so I set up a ground blind on the pond bank and got in it the following weekend before the ducks arrived at sunrise. I was surprised that they paid no attention to me and I actually got some decent photos for my first try off of auto!
If you’d like to get unique photos of wildlife but don’t want to take the pictures yourself, I recommend my personal favorite outdoor hobby, trail camming, aka remote photography. Trail cameras are mostly used by hunters to scout for wildlife during hunting season but you don’t have to be a hunter to enjoy using them! Some of my favorite trail camera pictures are from spring and summer when there’s not even a hunting season open.
If you have private property, try finding a unique spot to hang a camera and see what shows up! You’ll be surprised at the variety of wildlife that you’ll get on camera that you never even knew were there!
Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)
To paddle board you stand on the board, which looks similar to a surf board, with a paddle in hand and use the paddle to propel yourself forward on the water. This can be done on the ocean, lake or river and is an excellent full body workout!
Some places will rent you the equipment that you’ll need, that way you won’t have to go out and buy it all yourself. If you do choose to buy the equipment, here’s what you will need:
-Stand up paddle board
-Life jacket or personal flotation device
-Leash (It attaches your SUP to you, in case you fall off)
Although I have yet to try paddle boarding for myself, it is something that I plan on trying this year! I’ve heard from people who have tried it that since you are standing at your full height on the paddle board you get a better view of the surroundings than if you were sitting in a boat, and you are able to see the fish swimming below you!
My friend Samantha Andrews shared this photo with me on her SUP
Spring is a great time to get outside and try something new. Whether you live in the country or in the city, you should be able to find somewhere close to you to try at least one of these outdoor activities!