A favorite winter activity of mine is observing animal tracks in the snow. When I wander about after a snowstorm I usually have my camera available to capture whatever creature has left evidence of its presence.
You may look at plants growing naturally in the woods, a meadow, or wetlands and think they are natives to Connecticut, but often this is not the case. To be a native, a plant must have grown in our region prior to European settlement. Some of the plants, trees and shrubs growing in Connecticut wild spaces are actually naturalized – they've become accustomed to and grow quite comfortably in our area. Other plants are invasive bullies that overtake or crowd out other plants, often natives. Why does this matter? Think bugs and evolution. Local insects co-evolved with local plants in local conditions. Each Connecticut- or Southern New England-based insect and plant may have a slightly different genetic code than the same type of insect or plant from the Mid-Atlantic region.