January 2023 Nature Journal
This past month was gray and with above average temperatures. We haven’t needed to bundle up in extra warm clothing. The snow fell in big flakes which melted as soon as they hit the ground. I can feel spring.
The snowdrops are poking their slender green leaves up under my tumbling compost bin. My kitchen garden and community garden plot are ready to go. I do have to get free city compost for the community plot, but the backyard kitchen garden is ready.
I’ll be starting seeds this weekend of those plants which need to be started 10-12 weeks before the last spring frost. Namely, the brassicas (broccoli, cabbages, brussels sprouts), the onions (bulb onions, chives, leeks, shallots) and greens (kale, collards, spinach). Basically, the cool weather crops. Yes, the winter flew by.
Two of my cousins (Hi, Pam and Diane!), have asked me to help them start backyard kitchen gardens. I can’t wait to get started. They’ll benefit from all my mistakes. And I’ve wanted to create a crop-starting guide for myself. Now I’m thinking I want to develop it to help my cousins, too. Heck, maybe some of this blog’s readers will find it useful, too. I hope to have it ready this growing season, at least by mid-May. I have to make sure I don’t get carried away and make it too long.
Nature Journal Guide Almost Ready for Sale
I was very busy this past month, writing, revising, and proofing my new guide, How to Keep a Nature Journal: Choosing a Style, Keeping Checklists, and What to Observe through the Seasons. I’ve curated useful posts from my blog, revised, edited, and rewrote the very basic information of keeping a nature journal that brings you joy everytime you look at it. That’s what my nature journals do for me. I included pages from my journals I hadn’t shared before. Once I approve the proof from the printer, it will be on sale in the next few weeks.
Beginning Birder Program
I’m scheduled to teach a workshop at the Bethany Beach Nature Center in Bethany Beach, New Jersey this April for their Earth Day Celebrations. I’m excited and looking forward to it. I’ll be teaching a morning workshop for Beginning Birders. I’ll focus on how to use binoculars, how to find birds, and how to keep up on field trips with advanced birders. Stay tuned for more information and the inevitable ‘Beginning Birder’s Guide’ I’ll publish from that experience. I have a full plate of projects this year.
Watching the Green Comet
Did you see the green comet this month? It will be visible from Earth until this Thursday, February 2nd, 2023. The last time it was seen from Earth was about 50,000 years ago. Astronomers don’t know when it will be back.
It gets it’s green glow from the carbon in the gas cloud surrounding its’ nucleus. I noticed this comet, last Friday. Before I go to bed, open my window blinds and gaze at the night sky. I noticed a green crescent-shaped object in the night sky. I could tell it was moving and I saw a tail and quickly realized it as a comet. I grabbed my binoculars to get a better look.
Through the binoculars I could clearly see the green color and the tail of gas. It looked just like what it shown in the video below. I like looking at it with the naked eye. That how our ancestors saw the objects in the night sky, without binoculars or telescopes. Here’s a video about the green comet.
Beltane Cottage by Colette O’Neil
I love Youtube. I think of it as TV by the masses, for the masses. I watch channels on cottage living, natural living, small urban gardens, birds, etc. If you haven’t check out Youtube, there is a video for just about anything you want to learn about.
I want to share my favorite channel. It’s Beltane Cottage by Collette O’Neil, a writer, gardener, and permaculture practitioner in the west of Ireland. She lives in a cottage on 3 acres of re-forested land. She grows food, feeds the woodland creatures, and lives a life similar to mine. I’m happen to be in the city at the moment.
The website: https://bealtainecottage.com/
The YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@bealtainecottage
If these things interest you, check out this video below.
February 2023 Nature Almanac
- Spring Cross-Quarter Day – February 2nd (Imbolc, Candlemas, etc.)
- Vernal (Spring) Equinox – March 20th
- Groundhog Day – February 2nd – The start of spring.
- Black and Brown bear females give birth
- Skunk Cabbage emerges in wet, watery places
- Birding Now: Find birds at bird feeders, along waterways, in woodlands, and fields. Wintering seabirds, rarities, feeding the birds especially as food is running low.
- Project Budburst is getting into gear at budburst.org
- Great Backyard Bird Count is wrapping up this month. gbbc.birdcount.org
- When will the Dark-eyed Juncos depart? I saw some in my cousin Diane’s backyard last weekend.
In the Night Sky
- February 5 – Full Snow Moon
- February 13 – Last Quarter Snow Moon
- Feb – New Worm Moon
- Feb – First Quarter Worm Moon
- Don’t miss the Green Comet in the sky until February 2nd.
- The Andromeda Galaxy in high in the western night sky.
- Venus and Jupiter, will be the brightest planets, and can be seen in the western evening sky.
- Two bright stars near Orion are Castor and Pollux.
- Betelgeuse (say ‘beetlejuice’), the brightest star in the Orion constellation is finally going supernova.
That a wrap on January and looking forward to February.
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Best wishes my friends,
Last month’s January 2023 Journal and Almanac
Last year: January 2022 Nature Almanac
and Donna’s Nature Journal January 2022