written by: Kelley V Phillips, Communications & Outreach Manager
Valentine’s Day is drawing near. It is pleasing to receive plush roses and few would say “no” to a box of decadent chocolates. But, if you are trying to woo a nature lover, we have developed a few one-liners to help you ask someone out(side).
Remember, it is February. All of these ideas come with the suggestion to have a hot beverage and cozy blanket nearby.
“Your smile is brighter than a sunrise. Come watch the dawn with me and light the sky.”
Red-tail Nature Preserve in Selma, IN has an amazing view of sunrise. Next to the parking area there is a plaza which overlooks an expansive sea of Big Blue Stem grass. On frosty mornings, when the prairie is saturated with frost or dew, sunbeams cast from the sky make this grassland shimmer.
“The joyful splash of a babbling brook pales to the chimes of your laughter. If you join me by the river, we can compare it together.”
There are a number of creeks and rivers that have water throughout the year. The White River is easily accessible from Mounds State Park. After rain or snow melt, the ravines within the park become channels for small, delightful waterfalls.
Red-tail’s Fall Creek Woods has a brook which winds next to the loop trail. If the night before your date is cold enough, maybe you can even see some ice bells forming just above the water.
“The dazzling sparkle in your eyes would be at home with twinkling stars. Let’s find a place to admire the cosmos together.”
February is not a phenomenal month for celestial happenings, but some planets are easier to spot than usual. On February 9, Venus will be especially bright, sharing the sky with Mars and Mercury on the southeastern horizon at dawn.
Generally on clear nights, you can expect to see the flash of a shooting star, or meteor, every 10-15 minutes. Stay outside for a few hours and you will see about 5 much slower shooting stars cross the sky, also known as satellites.
“When you say, ‘hello’ it is like glorious birdsong heralding a new day. I have an extra pair of binoculars. Come with me to see your fellow songbirds.”
Winter is a great time for birding. Leafless trees and thin foliage makes spotting birds in flight easier. The generally brown color palette of a dormant forest gives greater contrast to bright feathers.
Common birds you will see in winter include cardinals, blue jays, house sparrows, goldfinches, chickadees, and white-breasted nuthatches. These can be found in nearly every hardwood forest in Indiana. Red-tail’s Stout Memorial Woodland near New Castle, IN is secluded from urban sounds. Birds are easy to pinpoint from their song.
Cope Environmental Center north of Richmond, IN has a quiet expansive forest that is home to many species of birds year-round.
“You smell as good as fungus on a log. Join me in the forest and let’s see what turns up.”
Okay, that one may need work. But, it is not uncommon for nature lovers to enjoy the earthy, fresh aroma of soil. And, looking for exotic, colorful fungus is an unforgettable date. McVey Memorial Forest near Albany, IN has a fantastic array of turkey tail, oyster, and brick cap mushrooms.
Using any of these nature-themed one-liners is guaranteed to make a lasting impression. Plus, in the cold weather of winter, you and your sweetheart may have a nature preserve or park to yourselves.
If any of these tried and true romantic suggestions are too bold, you can’t go wrong with a card that says, “I think you’re outdoor-able.”
Kelley V. Phillips is the Communications & Outreach Manager for Red-tail Land Conservancy. She strives to cultivate wonder in nature and action to protect it.
Photo by Jose Escobar