We all know the old saying, “March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.” Well it is going to play out here on the prairie this year. Although it has not been as bad as it has been for some, we are ready for spring to arrive after a crazy winter. In early March we had the coldest start we have ever had, but this coming weekend should be in the high 60′s.
So with winter giving way to spring, our adventures this month from The Handbook of Nature Study were to find winter mammals, winter birds, a spring tree and spring weather. Here is what we did:
Winter Birds–We would like to learn more about birds. We only know the easy ones like cardinals, robins and crows, but we are going to do a whole nature windowsill on birds next month and get going on our goal to identify 5 new birds. So for this challenge I guess Brilliant’s high flying kite story will have to do!
As soon as the wind started blowing, she would race out to practice. It was frustrating at times because the wind would only gust and not stay steady, but she just kept honing her skills. Then on this gorgeous sunny March day, the wind blew steady and strong and the kite flew beautifully. It was sooo cool to see her hard work pay off!
But alas…one really strong gust whipped it from her grasp, and the kite flew high up into a neighbor’s poplar tree where it still resides. It was very sad indeed. We did, however, replace the old kite with a spiffy new ladybug one that is just waiting for that spring wind to pick up again:)
Spring Tree–Well if you have been following along on our journey last month you might remember that we tapped our first sugar maple tree. The whole process was so much fun! Because it wasn’t in our own yard we had to rely on our good friends to check on the bucket and replace it when it got full. We would come by every couple of days to check up on it and take the collected sap home to store until we could boil it down into syrup. We finally took out the tap when the tree started to bud because everything we read said that would be the end of the sap season due to the chemical changes in the tree giving off an unpleasant flavor at that point.
We got a total of 5 1/2 gallons of sap (although we are pretty sure we lost some when a storm blew the bucket off the tree). As you can see, the sap is clear after it is collected. After many hours of boiling, the sap turns a beautiful amber color and tastes perfectly sweet. The total syrup count out of 5 1/2 gallons of sap was about 1 1/2 pints:) It totally explains why maple syrup is so expensive!
Explorer has also been doing a year-long nature study on our cottonwood tree.
Spring Weather–We have been doing a year long study about weather this year in science with Answers in Genesis. During February and March we have been specifically studying the instruments that meteorologists use to forecast the weather like barometers, anemometers, psychrometers, and thermometers. We didn’t take any pictures, but our understanding of how God created the earth to operate within the natural laws He established as well as outside those laws to accomplish His purposes has been deeply enriched. I think I even understand how weather works now:)
We also continued to graph the highs and lows of March.
Navigator made a list of all the weather we have had in March.
We will leave you this month with one final thought. Isn’t it grand to be outside?