Spring Nature Almanac – April 2021

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) in my garden.

Here in Philadelphia…

It was 81°F on March 26th. Today (April 2nd) the high is 43°F. Hot, cold, hot, cold. Spring is here!

I have been out in my garden rebuilding raised beds, planting container sized raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. The container varieties are from a collection called Bushel and Berries. I bought my plants at Lowe’s for a very reasonable price. Links are below.

My pint-sized kitchen garden is also my habitat garden. I like an all-in-one garden. I like the roses and the tomatoes co-existing.

This month’s almanac has a new format. I have shifted things around and include more of what’s going on in my garden. A visual nature journal and almanac of sorts.

And I am fully vaccinated. Life begins again. Hot dog!


What’s Happening in My Gardens

The squirrels dug in my new planting of my new Bushel and Berry Raspberry Shortcake (grower’s website) Yes; they are on Amazon.com (affiliate link). I include the link so you can see what they are. I paid a lot less at Lowe’s.

Luckily; I got the last Raspberry at Lowe’s replacing the one the squirrels probably killed.

Here’s the contraption to protect my strawberries.

strawberry cage My contraption to protect my strawberries (Tristar berries) in my garden.

I bought several (!) ultrasound animal repellant devices to scare (ha!) the squirrels away from my kitchen garden in my backyard. It emits an ultrasonic sound that repel squirrels. I can program it to flash lights and adjust the range. I have it programmed the device to do it all. I think the repellants are working. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The device on Amazon.com – affiliate link.

hoont ultrasonic device Hoont ultrasonic device to repel squirrels.

Spring Birding

The Year-Around, permanent resident birds are nesting. Migration is starting for birds in the southern regions to move to northern nesting sites.

I watched a pair of House Sparrows mating in my garden this past week.

The Male Cardinal that lives on my street is in full regalia.


Observing Animals in Spring

A Southern Yellowjacket (Vespula squamosa) emerges from hibernation in my garden.

Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) in my garden.

This Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) is waking up from a long winter’s nap in my raised garden bed in my garden.


Mourning Cloak Butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa) A Mourning Cloak Butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa) flew through my garden.

A Mourning Cloak Butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa) flew through my garden. Nothing was blooming.


Observing Native Plants in Spring

The Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) in my garden are getting ready to bloom.

Spring’s Key Happenings

Spring Equinox – March 20, 2021 at 5:37 a.m. EDT in the Northern Hemisphere. On the natural calendar, this is the mid-point of Spring.

Summer Solstice –  June 20th at 11:32 p.m. EDT in the Northern Hemisphere. For natural-living people this is summer’s mid-point, not a beginning.

Spring last 92 days, 19 hours until the Summer Solstice


In the Sky This Month:

April 4th – Last Quarter Sap Moon, Last Quarter rises around midnight

April 11th – New Moon Pink Moon, Moon When the Geese Lay Eggs, New moon always rises near sunrise

April 20th – First Quarter Pink or Geese Laying Eggs Moon, First Quarter rises near noon

April 26th – Full Pink or Geese Laying Eggs Moon, Full Moon always rises near sunset

This Month’s Moon is the Pink Moon. The ‘Pink” refers to the blooming of the Creeping Phlox, an indigenous flower that is pink. This moon is also called “Geese Laying Eggs Moon”.

“The Moon’ path across the sky changes with the seasons. Full Moons are very High in the sky (at midnight) between November and February (winter) and very low in the sky between May and July” – The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2021, p. 102.

Moonrise occurs about 50 minutes later each day

Best Fishing – When the Moon is between New and Full. April 11-26 is when this month’s moon is waxing or growing larger.

April 11th – 26th

Stars in the Spring Sky

Circumpolar Constellations – from latitude 40 degree north – these constellations are always in the sky: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Cassiopeia, Draco, Cepheus, and Camelopaedalis.

Spring Constellations

Leo, Bootes, Virgo, Corvus, Crater, and Cancer are in the night sky.

In the Southern Hemisphere Sky look for the stars Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri the southern pointers that point directly to the Crux (Southern Cross) constellation. March thru September is the best time to see these stars.

Meteor Shower in the Sky – The Lyrid Showers can be seen in the predawn originating in the southern portion of the sky. April 22nd is the date for the maximum number of meteors of about 10 per hour. The best viewing is in a dark sky with little light pollution.

Meteors are fast, moving falling stars. Comets are slow-moving balls of ice and dust.

Nature Study and Nature Journaling Activities

Nature in Spring: Table of Contents

Spring Nature Journal and Prompts

Citizen Science Events to take part In

Project Budburst (year-round)

That’s it for this issue. Look for the next issue at the end of April.

If you have a comment or suggestion, as always, leave a comment below.

Happy Nature Journaling!

One comment

  1. Hi Donna- So nice to see what’s happening in your backyard. You are so right about the big swings in temperature being a sign of spring. I need to remind myself of that so that I don’t get too impatient with the 30-degree days. I love your photo of the garter snake and wondered whether I might use it as a reference for an upcoming workshop I have “Spring Into Nature Sketching” with kids. It’s via Zoom, so I’ll be using some photos and some things I collect from my yard. Let me know…thanks. — Jean

We're Listening

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.