Spring is calling

While it certainly doesn’t look like it, nor does it feel like it, spring arrived on Monday. What better way to mark the change of the season than by getting out and taking a walk.

Over the next few weeks the weather will certainly warm up, and before trees are in full leaf is actually a great time to meander along Wilton’s many trails. The Conservation Commission has done a great job introducing folks to the many parks in their own back yard. Now is a great time to start exploring on your own. This time of year affords the opportunity to see great distances through the woods without suffering the biting cold of winter weather.

On a clear day, for example, walkers may be able to see as far as Long Island Sound from Quarry Head State Park. The southwestern corner of Belknap Preserve provides a dramatic view of the Mayapple Brook valley and into the Gregg Preserve. At a high point along the yellow trail in the Sackett Preserve, there is a view west of the wetland valley and the nearby Marble/Van Haelewyn Preserve. There is a walker’s guide on the commission’s page at wiltonct.org.

Many of the town’s trails traverse wetlands, so you are likely to see seasonal plant life like skunk cabbage — hey, at least it’s green — and if you are very lucky, you might glimpse some trillium, anemone, or trout lily, if the deer haven’t gotten to them first. Of course, in our own yards, snowdrops and crocus have already come and gone and daffodils are emerging.

If birds are more to your liking, we are entering migration season. Allen’s Meadow is a great place to see birds that are merely visitors to Wilton, on their way to more northern breeding locales. Grab some binoculars and a field guide and take a gander.

Or you can look down and see what life teems in the wet, squishy earth beneath your feet. A few weeks from now, on Saturday, April 15, you can don your waterproof boots and join a guided walk at Woodcock Nature Center to learn about vernal pools, which are ephemeral wonders of nature. They are the incubators for amphibians like salamanders and wood frogs and the curious fairy shrimp. Hear a short intro and then go out and search for eggs and tadpoles. Check the website, woodcocknaturecenter.org, for details.

So throw off the budget blues for a while. Put the tax forms aside. Take a walk, feel the sun on your face, and enjoy some of the reasons you live here.