Keep a Nature Observation Notebook!

Now that spring is here and the sunny days beckon us outdoors, it’s the perfect time to start a Nature Observation Notebook. All around, plants are sprouting, trees are blooming–there’s a lot to going on! Use your notebook as a guide to noticing this season’s changes and a place to keep track of all your observations.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Observe plants in your neighborhood. Are they blooming now? Draw pictures or describe their changes through the year. Maybe plant your own flowers or herbs and record their progress!
  2. What animals do you see and what are they doing? Are they building nests, feeding young, gathering nuts for the winter, or flying north or south? Can you tell what season it is by animal behavior?
  3. If you live near a lake, pond, or the ocean, what kinds of plants, shells, and other natural objects do you see along the shore? Where did they come from? How did they get there?
  4. If you live near a river or a stream, is it high or low? Is it running fast or slow, muddy or clear? Can you think of why? Does it depend on the weather or the season of the year?
  5. Do you know which ocean your stream eventually enters? Can you track the water route to the ocean?
  6. What are the main weather patterns for each season where you live? Is it hot, cold, windy, etc? Do you know someone who lives where the season is opposite yours?
  7. What is your favorite season? Are there special activities that you do during this season? Do you think other animals enjoy seasonal activities as much as you do?
  8. What types of clothes do you generally wear during this season? Have you seen wildlife change coats season to season?
  9. When does the sun go down and get dark? Is it different depending on the season?
  10. Are there special foods that you eat during each season? (berries in late spring/early summer, fruits and vegetables in the summer, fresh fish, apples, or pumpkins in the fall, etc.)
  11. Are there some foods that grow in your area or that can be hunted, fished, or harvested during certain times of the year? (growing seasons, hunting seasons, or open gathering seasons). Why would those foods be available then and not other times of the year?

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