"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another." -Henry Van Dyke
As the weather warms and spring days are no longer a rarity, head outdoors to explore the changes happening around you. Phenology, the study of the relationship between weather and climate and the life cycle stages of plants and animals, can be observed in your own back yard. Here are four fun ways to pique young scientists' interest in nature and phenology this spring.
1. Keep a journal of seasonal changes. Record temperatures, weather conditions, migration patterns, and more, and hypothesize how the changes you see taking place in nature might impact the animals in your area.
2. Practice photography. Keeping a visual record of observations in addition to a journal will help when trying to recall the finer details of your notes. It's also a fun way to mix disciplines as you learn!
3. Contribute to Nature's Notebook. An online community for amateur and professional naturalists, Nature's Notebook is a way for students to share their information with scientists who make exciting new discoveries about our world.
4. Connect with the phenology community. Find locals who participate in Nature's Notebook, or start your own group if one doesn't exist in your area.
What changes have you noticed in your back yard this spring?