We don't have to go to wild places to find wildlife. A surprisingly wide range of species can be found in our sities and towns, from familiar animals like the raccoon to more exotic ones like the mountain lion.
In talking with other parents, I often hear people say that they're waiting for their kids to be "old enough" to try family camping. So what's the right age to take your kids camping for the first time? In my experience, any age and every age!
Sierra Magazine's The Green Life blog has a great piece on sustainable foraging. It offers some useful insights and advice if you're interested in wild foods but concerned about potential damage to native plant populations.
I normally wouldn't go on an organized hike with an outfitter because in general, we have our own expertise. We don't have our own car, however, in which to escape the city heat. I've always wanted to do a yoga or meditation retreat, but they've always seemed too expensive and time-consuming. I happened to spot an Amazon Local deal for a one-day yoga hike with Destination Backcountry Adventures, and one of the dates was July 16, while all my boys are away at Scout camp or the National Jamboree, so it seemed perfect.
The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature is a book I'm sure I will reread or at least dip into again and again. It is beautifully written and packed with fascinating information about the ecology of the eastern forest.
It was another beautiful weekend so we headed back to Jacob Riis Park for the day on Saturday, and once again had a lovely time. We brought our Kelty sunshade instead of just a tarp and it worked much better, although we had to move the panniers to a different bike to accommodate it.
The Appalachian Mountain Club's Great Kids, Great Outdoors blog has a very helpful post on kids and backpacks. How heavy should my child's backpack be?
I frequently think my kids' school packs are heavier than they should be, but they did great with the real thing on the Appalachian Trail last summer.
For our second consecutive Sunday of family biking, we decided to check out the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, which we'd only visited briefly in the winter, when it was cold and extremely windy. In June it was the opposite—warm with a welcome cool breeze. Our plan was to bike there, explore, and get lunch from Smorgasburg. Our route, once again planned on the Ride the City site, took us around Prospect Park and down Vanderbilt Avenue.
The summer edition of the Urban Park Rangers' publication Outdoors in NYC is now available in PDF form. It lists all the free weekend events that the Urban Park Rangers offer in parks throughout the city. These programs enable adults and families to experience the natural world in new and unexpected ways. They include canoeing, fishing, hiking, special programs for kids and families, and wildlife viewing.
We decided to do a family bike trip out to the beach at Jacob Riis Park on Sunday, and had a great time despite a couple of snafus in the form of flat tires.
The Tarpmaster said he wanted to go on a hike for Fathers' Day, so we planned an excursion with his parents. I did some research into places to go and settled on Conetquot River State Park, in Suffolk County. I figured my father-in-law wouldn't want to spend the whole day driving, and the park is only about 45 minutes from their house. It's kind of surprising that after 20 years living with a native of Long Island, I haven't seen more of its natural areas.