With the bazillion snow storm upon us (and the gazillionth snow day), parents and kids are desperate for something to do that does not involve snow. Because let’s face it, how many snowpeople can one create in one winter? If we did one for each snow storm, it would look like an army of snowpeople were about to attack.

But I had an idea based on an email I received from the Mass Audubon yesterday. The Mass Audubon is hosting their free annual Focus on Feeders Weekend this weekend (February 5 and 6th). In a nutshell (or a suet feeder) they ask people to fill out a simple form noting the number and diverse species of birds visiting a backyard feeder. All of those who submit reports are entered into a random drawing contest for free prizes. They are also encouraging people to submit their wildlife photos (can be any animal species) and will award prizes in several different categories. For the past 40 years, this event helps the Mass Audubon track trends.

So even if you don’t formally enter, give your kids a camera and see what animal tracks they can find or animals they can see. Ask them what colors? How many? Maybe go online and see if you can identify the bird or animal: what can you learn about it? Give them some paper and crayons so they can draw the most interesting thing they saw.

Perhaps you will get a chance to have that cup of coffee after all.

(One can only hope.)

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