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The Tulpehaking Nature Center will feature an exhibit that is a celebration of winter and water. Through photographs and interactive activities, “The Quiet Months: An Exploration of Winter,” opening Dec. 4, takes a look at the special properties of water that make winter unique; how plants and animals survive the frigid season; and how we all can enjoy the marvels of nature in winter.

The exhibit will feature the work of regional photographers with images from near and far — from the Abbott Marshlands and Delaware River in Trenton to ice fields in Iceland. The photographs illustrate how water freezes creating varied textures and patterns, and show the beauty found by those who take the time to look.

“Ice in Ocean”: Photo credit Bennett Povlow
“Ice in Ocean”: Photo credit Bennett Povlow

While seemingly quiet on the surface, the story of winter involves a flurry of activity and strategies by the plants and animals that must brave the cold environment. Winter magic begins with the unusual properties of water. Frozen water (ice) floats; frozen water expands; frozen water may form frost, snow or ice. Some plants and animals have developed adaptations that include forming “antifreeze” that prevents damage to cell membranes, building up layers of fat or growing a thicker fur, or moving to moderate climates. The latter may be “vertical”’ migration — a turtle digs into the mud at the bottom of a pond and skunks and bats hibernate in trees; or migration may occur over extraordinary distances — songbirds to South America or of butterflies and dragonflies over the Gulf of Mexico.

“Trenton Makes Bridge”: Photo credit Jonathan Michalik
“Trenton Makes Bridge”: Photo credit Jonathan Michalik

“The Quiet Months: An Exploration of Winter” opens Dec. 4 and runs until March 30. On Jan. 10, there will be a free winter walk from 1 to 2:30 p.m., meeting at the nature center, followed by a reception to meet photographers from 2:30 to 4 p.m. with hot chocolate, coffee and tea to warm up fingers from the cold. The exhibit and winter walk are sponsored by the Friends for the Abbott Marshlands. Bring your camera!

The Tulpehaking Nature Center is located at 157 Westcott Ave. in Hamilton. It is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

The nature center provides programs and exhibits that encourage visitors to explore and discover the many cultural, historic and natural resources of the Abbott Marshlands. It is owned by the County of Mercer and operated by the Mercer County Park Commission. For more information about the nature center, programs and schedule of events, go to www.mercercountyparks.org.

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.

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