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Participants outside looking at birds through binoculars

Group photo at a parkA nature walk through Keney Park with East Granby Land Trust and the Grow Hartford Youth Program…

Turkey tails, umbrella trees, dancing aphids, whimsical nuthatches, and cider donuts. A brilliant day and a first for many who have never explored the trails at Keney Park. The beauty of the Bird & Hike program is that for many participants it is a program of many firsts. First birding experience, first exploration of a trail, first use of binoculars, first introduction to a land trust, and even for the avid birder/hiker, it is a wonderful thing to see new faces awe in the simple yet phantasmic delights of the natural world.

Group photo in front of a tree with foliage in AutumnFall at Randall’s Farm Nature Preserve with Green Village Initiative and Aspetuck Land Trust…

Fall is a beautiful period of transition. Though migration takes from us the euphony and vibrance of many birds and their songs, the screeching of the Red-tailed Hawk, the zealousness of the tufted titmouse, and the inquisitiveness of Black-capped chickadees—year rounders—are a reminder that there is still plenty of wonder to be seen and heard in the skies, trees, and amidst the browning leaves on the ground. If there is anything I have taken from last year’s Bird & Hike events, it is a deeper appreciation for the open spaces that allow for reflections as these and for the people who protect them and share experiences with those within and outside their communities.

It is with great enthusiasm that I look forward to working with more land trust and community groups on Bird & Hike events.

Yaw Owusu Darko
Project Specialist
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