April Showers Bring May Flowers

Following our “Signs of Spring” project, which everyone seemed to embrace and enjoy – here is a fun “citizen scientist” project everyone can participate in.  But before I discuss that, I just want to share my favorite “signs of spring” observation from one of the students.  Everyone was amazing, noticing the smallest of buds and sprouts, first insects, first flowers, birds, and weather changes, but the observation that really signified the start of a Vancouver spring was this one:   “A guy wearing shorts.” I couldn’t resist that one, and put it up on our wall chart as something for everyone to watch for…

Now that guys (and women) are wearing shorts everywhere one looks, we can put the “sings of spring” behind us for this year.  Project BudBirst is a great way to extend the concepts and nature watching from spring into summer.  Everyone can join Project BudBurst!  Run from the U.S., Project BudBurst is designed to engage children and adults in the collection of important climate change data based on the timing of leafing and flowering of trees and flowers. In 2008, thousands of people of all ages participated by taking careful observations of the phenological events such as the first flower, first leaf, and seed or fruit dispersal of a diversity of tree and flower species, including weeds and ornamentals.

The web site is nicely designed, too.  You can type in your address and immediately get your latitude and longitude – fun for learning about mapping, communities, or ordering personalized door mats!! (Yes, I found a mail order catalogue that sells those, but I digress!) There are resources and great information on wildflowers, herbs, trees, plant and flower identification, phenology and climate change.  It is also so interesting to see what is happening in other places in North America, and to see what is growing and where.


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