There is so much to learn, see and do outdoors! We encourage our followers to embrace the outdoors and visit parks, forests, nature preserves locally, nationally and abroad. Hiking spots are plentiful in our area and this summer we have been busy hiking, traveling and enjoying all that nature has to offer. Pictured above is Meeker Swamp from the viewing platform at Macricostas Preserve in New Preston, CT. Please enjoy photos from some of our travels this summer.

Macricostas offers stunning views from one of the higher points on the trail. 

On this particular day, we hiked after heavy rains and saw a plethora of Red Efts (the juvenile form of the Eastern Newt). 

There were diverse species of fungi & slime molds along the way. 

The variety of colors, shapes and sizes of fungi and molds never ceases to amaze.

Bear Mountain Reservation in Danbury, CT is a favorite spot for our staffers.

Above is Educator Jenn with her daughter and the family dog, Omar. Hiking with dogs brings an amazing energy to exploring. Nose to the ground & tails wagging, our furry friends explore to the max. 

This sign, found at Aspetuck Land Trust's preserves, provides valuable information about hiking safely with your dog. Check it out!

Bear Mountain Reservation offers meadows, vernal pools and beautiful trails. 

Trout Brook Valley is another of our favorites. In Weston, CT, this special place offers numerous & diverse trails. Jennifer spotted this Luna Moth Caterpillar while hiking.

Every visit to Trout Brook Valley offers opportunities to see new flora, fauna & fungi.

The rare Lady Slipper at Trout Brook Valley.

Another unique plant is the Ghost Flower, or Indian Pipe. We've seen these on a number of trails, but they are actually rare due to habitat loss and over-harvesting.

Nature provides beautiful tableaus such as this mushroom and slug. Slugs feed on fungi and find themselves a stool to sit on all at the same time.

The Aspetuck Valley Trail which runs through Easton, Redding & Newtown is rich in biodiversity. It runs alongside the Aspetuck River and through wetlands. Above, what looks like a fur collar is actually chocolate slime mold.

You will find many wild berries such as these throughout CT & NY while hiking. 

Some of our staff, such as Christina above, traveled a bit further this summer. Christina visited Costa Rica and met this beautiful Toucan at La Paz Waterfall Gardens animal sanctuary.

She also got a glimpse of these Scarlet Macaws in the wild when visiting the town of Dominical.

Christina shared this shot of a white-faced monkey as well as the photo below of the same species carrying it's offspring.

We hope you have enjoyed our summer outdoor adventures. Enjoy nature & get outdoors!

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