MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Harris Nature Center hosted its annual Winter Wonderland, an outdoor event which offers a fun alternative to staying indoors all winter.
Family friendly activities were available for all ages, and even a dog petting area. Children built snowmen and threw snowballs at targets in activity zones. Families borrowed snowshoes and skiis for a slippery trek on the snowy nature trails. And after all that romping in the snow, an outdoor fire pit was also available for people to warm up.
A popular draw of the event were the somayeds, dogs famously known for their fluffy white fur and boundless energy. To the average person, they're simply known as sled dogs, and indeed they pulled sleds. Participants watched as the dogs pulled their sled and passenger up and down the nature trail.
The gentle yet energetic dogs were a smash hit with the kids and their parents. The dogs' handler, Sharon Kremsraitar, hopes that families will be able to take away a better understanding of the dogs' breed, and recommends that anyone who likes dogs should come to future events.
"They originate in northern Siberia. The people used to raise them for herding, sledding... they lived with them in their chums, their tents. Their coats, the undercoat, was combed out, and spun into wool, into yarn, and used to make clothing, which is really, really warm."