“Dirt time” is all about getting out there and doing things in nature.
- It could be searching for amphibians on a rainy night in spring (shameless advertising: Night of the Amphibians is coming up soon at the Dahlem Center – mark your calendar for April 15 and 16).
- It could be going fishing at your neighborhood pond with your buddies or your self.
- It could be digging your first vegetable garden (like the Community Gardens at the Dahlem Ecology Farm).
- It could be removing invasive species, like autumn olive or garlic mustard, from your property…or from the property at your local nature preserve (check out the upcoming Work Bee days: Jackson Audubon – 26 March at Haehnle Sanctuary and 9 April at Kate Palmer Sanctuary – http://www.jacksonaudubon.org/Newsletter/BirdTracks.pdf; the Dahlem Center – 16 April).
- It could be visiting the same location day after day and recording all the things you see and hear as the seasons change.
- It could even be something as simple as joining Dahlem Naturalist and Stewardship Coordinator, Gary Siegrist, Tuesday mornings at 9:00 for a nature hike. Some days he takes the group birding, sometimes they look for animal tracks, and other times they visit nearby natural areas. There’s no telling what you will learn in a couple hours with Gary.
Whatever the activity, “dirt time” involves actually doing something outside. It’s going beyond the books and the computer. There’s only so much one can learn from the pages of a book (and this is coming from a devout bibliophile), and we all know how limited the internet can be when it comes to facts.
A great place to start your journey into nature, and getting dirty, is at the Dahlem Center. You can join us for a program or a class, or you can go it alone at your own pace, in your own time.
So, get out there! Get dirty! Make it a goal to learn something new every week (or better yet, every day).