Today was warm in Philadelphia. I watched a Red-tailed Hawk soar high in the sky outside my office window. The daffodils are in full bloom.
Did You Know?
Plants brought over from Asia bloom before most local native plants? Any trees, shrubs or flowers (especially bulbs -Lilly of the Valley, Daffodils) that are blooming in very early spring are usually from Eurasia, Snowdrops are from Eurasia, Crocuses are from the Mediterranean region to sw. Asia and Common Daffodils are from Europe.
The USDA has changed the gardening zones of the United States. Check to see if your area is affected.
In March I went to a lecture by Dr. Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded, the best book on the importance of native plants. His new website is found at http://plantanative.com/index.html. The page, “What Should I Plant?” is very helpful. This site is has useful pages listed at the bottom of the homepage.
Some Past In Season Blog Posts on Spring Events
Nature in Spring: an overview of the season
Spring Nature Journal Prompts – ideas for spring topics
First Spring Butterflies
Spring Bird Migration
Hummingbird Migration Dates
Seasons Imbolc – February 2 (Groundhog Day) – Spring begins to show
Spring Equinox – March 20th (day and night are of equal length, the days begin to grow longer after today)
Beltane Cross-Quarter Day – May 4th, Summer begins
March Full Moon – March 8th – Worm Moon (worms seen above ground)
April Full Moon – April 6th Pink Moon (pink Phlox Blooms)
May Full Moon – May 5th – Corn Planting Moon, Full Flower Moon (flowers are abundant)
Full moons always rise near sunset
Animals: Chipmunks emerge from hibernation
Birds: Waterfowl begin northward migration, Early nesting species begin breeding, you begin to hear birds sing
Flowers: In bloom – Skunk Cabbage, Snow Trillium, Marsh Marigold, Spicebush, American Hazelnut, Eurasian plants
Trees: Tree buds swell, pollen releasedBumble Bee sips nectar form a Rhododendron flower
Citizen Science to Participate In:
Project Feederwatch – Project Feederwatch is still going on. It ends the first Friday in April. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/index.html
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2012 Migration http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html
Migration Northward has Begun – You can keep an eye on the process of spring at The Journey North. The program is for students K-12. It focuses on observing the progress of animal migration and seasonal change. http://www.learner.org/jnorth/
Project BudBurst – keep records on the blooming times of plants
Eastern Pennsylvania Phenology – help with blooming and fruiting times of plants
That’s all for this issue. Look for the next Naturalist News at the beginning of summer.