Friday, March 6, 2009

Project Spring Alive

Last week, in the middle of a snow, I watched a Robin through the kitchen window as it positioned itself in the old pine tree. Normally I'd say the sighting of the season's first Robin meant Spring had finally made it's arrival. I had to smile at that while I watched the poor thing fluff it's feather's against the cold. Today, the temperatures are mild and the tulips are starting poke through the dirt. More and more signs of spring appear each day.

Naturalists have long observed and charted these changes in seasons and migratory patterns of animals. This is called Phenology. Scientists have found this data to be useful in studying climate change. The US National Phenology Network has begun a program to work hand and hand with amatuer naturalists to collect and share this information. The program is online and easy to use - great for home schoolers, outdoor or youth groups, or the budding naturalist in your family. It is a fun and meaningful way to teach your children a love of the Earth. The tradition was kept by Aldo Leopold who taught his children. We will post updates to our own Project Spring Alive.

Click Here for Phenology web links

Click Here for Sci Fri story on NPR

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