LEHMAN, Pa. -- Cool winds, falling leaves, and bare trees: all signs pointing toward winter.
A time for dormancy out here in the woods of Luzerne County, but Wyoming Valley Montessori students studying biology are finding this forest full of life.
"It's not all dying, like it's full of life," says Josophina Carpenter, a 6th grader from Lehman.
"Life will unfold in front of you whether it's the dead of winter which is actually full of life or the spring or the summer it's amazing how much habitat there is in a forest even in someone's back yard," explains Chris Miller, the founder of the Lehman Sanctuary.
Students tour the sanctuary with a naturalist turning over rocks to find animals that have made a home there, like a northern red salamander, or things other animals leave behind.
"We saw a snake skin that it had shed and we saw some spiders a dragonfly wing which was pretty interesting," adds Elliana Peterson, a 6th grader from Dallas.
Students do not just study animal life like this pickerel frog at the Lehman Sanctuary, they study plant life too.
"We talked about warm weather grass which is like this tall grass that is really dry that you can make stuff to feed the fire with and about like um the mushrooms here like the witches butter which is like an orangeish mushroom," explains Capenter.
"What we try to teach kids in this day in age when they're succumbing to screen time all the time is put your screen down and experience the natural world that we're a part of," says Miller.
These students say they were happy to soak up all the nature the sanctuary had to offer before most of it burrows away for the winter.
"Next month's there's snow so they're all going to be like hibernating or going to warmer places like Florida," says Peterson.
If you'd like to learn more about the Lehman Sanctuary, you can visit its website here.