Citizen Science Spotlight – Cicadas!

2021-05-29T21:12:51-06:00

It would be a shame if we didn't talk about cicadas right now. Everyone is talking about cicada brood x right now. It wouldn't be right not to feature citizen science opportunities about our emerging friends. Brood X is one of the biggest and most widespread, but will not be seen by everyone, but don't worry - there's probably a brood coming your way soon enough. If you live in an area that cicadas don't visit, it's still a chance to educate your community on what's happening in another area of the country that they might not experience firsthand. Cicadas hatch [...]

Citizen Science Spotlight – Cicadas!2021-05-29T21:12:51-06:00

Citizen Science Spotlight – Pollinators!

2021-05-29T19:15:43-06:00

Pollinating insects are the superstars of the insect world. Everyone wants to save the bees and butterflies. They should, too. Pollinating insects are incredibly important to our livelihood and our environment. More people are starting backyard beehives, or raise and release butterfly kits as the popularity of pollinators grows. Pollen has plant specific shapes and sizes, and a single bee will specialize in a few particular plant species. Approximately one out of three bites of food or beverages we consume is a direct cause of pollination. Without pollinators, we would not only lose a significant amount of food diversity and security, but [...]

Citizen Science Spotlight – Pollinators!2021-05-29T19:15:43-06:00

Citizen Science Spotlight – A Dragonfly Mystery

2021-05-26T21:49:34-06:00

Dragonflies are amazing insects, their existence dates back approximately 300 million years, and some even consider good luck. They've also plagued experts for years with their migratory patterns. Thanks to help from citizen scientists, experts were able to not only solve the mystery, but document significant and unprecedented life cycle findings. Insects normally fall into two life cycle categories: nymph or pupa. Essentially, it's how insects spend their awkward teen years. Some insects live as a pupa, like a caterpillar; a wormy like existance before completely rearranging themselves into their adult form. Other species live as nymphs, like dragonflies, which are [...]

Citizen Science Spotlight – A Dragonfly Mystery2021-05-26T21:49:34-06:00

Citizen Science Spotlight – Frogs!

2021-05-26T21:50:47-06:00

Many people have recently looked to outdoor activities for entertainment. We're in the thick of spring, and nature has started showing signs of life. There is so much to do, and so much to observe outside! Of course, there are plenty of citizen science opportunities to take advantage of as well. Frogs are an indicator species. This means that they can indicate the ecological health of a geographic area. They are very sensitive to environmental changes, so any variance can affect their presence in the ecosystem. They are an integral part of the wetland food chain, being both predator and prey, [...]

Citizen Science Spotlight – Frogs!2021-05-26T21:50:47-06:00

Nature Journaling – Art, Science, Observation, and Fun!

2021-05-28T22:05:55-06:00

Folks know what Nature is. Folks know what a journal is. But Nature can't write... no thumbs, among other things. Sooo. . . what is a nature journal? That depends. If you are an adult, a nature journal is a fantastic way to get away from the hustle, bustle, and rush, and practice patience, observational skills, and art.  It can be an opportunity to get out and have an outdoor adventure.  Keeping a nature journal is a way to become acquainted or reacquainted with the natural world.  It can become the place where an artist or future artist takes notes and [...]

Nature Journaling – Art, Science, Observation, and Fun!2021-05-28T22:05:55-06:00

Celebrate the Bees – World Bee Day

2021-05-29T08:08:07-06:00

On December 20, 2017, the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously voted to declare May 20 World Bee Day. Why should we celebrate bees? Why not? The purpose of World Bee Day is to recognize more than just the most well-known of the bees - the European honey bee.  Many people don't know that the honey bee isn't native to North America.  It colonized the western hemisphere with the European settlers.  When the settlers arrived, though, this country already had plenty of bees of its own, some 4,000 different species actually, ranging in size from the world's smallest bee, the [...]

Celebrate the Bees – World Bee Day2021-05-29T08:08:07-06:00

Citizen Science Spotlight – Birds!

2021-04-22T18:57:17-06:00

April is Citizen Science month, a great time to get outdoors, have fun while helping out the scientific community at the same time. There are so many different subjects to focus on while looking for a citizen science opportunity. I wanted to wrap up the month by highlighting a few different citizen science initiatives. I was contemplating which one to spotlight first when the Audubon posted an article about H. Jon Benjamin's renewed love of birding. Birding is one of the most renowned citizen science options. People have at least heard of birding, even if they haven't heard of the term [...]

Citizen Science Spotlight – Birds!2021-04-22T18:57:17-06:00

A Chill in the Air and Color in the Trees

2021-01-27T16:42:42-07:00

There's been a bit of a chill in the air the last week or so, a frequent thumping on the roof of pecans falling out of the tree in the yard, and a sense of frantic feasting radiating from the hummingbirds who frequent the feeders on my porch.  Autumn is here. One of my favorite things to do as the seasons slip away from summer and toward winter is to walk through wooded areas and collect brightly colored leaves.  This is something my mother did with me as a very young child on my great grandparents' farm.  I still have the [...]

A Chill in the Air and Color in the Trees2021-01-27T16:42:42-07:00

10, 9, 8, 7….3, 2, 1, Launch America!!!

2020-05-26T22:12:05-06:00

I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe, and socially distanced Memorial Day Holiday! Now to prepare for the historic event tomorrow that will mark the first launch of American astronauts into space in an American rocket from an American launchpad since the shuttle program was retired in 2011. The crew for this mission are Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley:                   They will be launching from Launch Complex 39A in a SpaceX Crew Dragon carried into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket.  The lift-off is scheduled for 4:33 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 27. For special access to additional information, [...]

10, 9, 8, 7….3, 2, 1, Launch America!!!2020-05-26T22:12:05-06:00

February is Feed the Birds Month!

2020-02-18T19:52:37-07:00

On February 23, 1994, February was declared 'National Bird Feeding Month' by Congress. If you want to narrow things down to one day, February 3 is 'Feed the Birds Day.' February is one of the hardest months of the year for many animals in North America, especially those who depend on seeds and plants for food. That would make it the perfect time to start a new hobby - bird watching!  According to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 45 million people in the country participate in bird watching at home and at work.  It doesn't require special skills [...]

February is Feed the Birds Month!2020-02-18T19:52:37-07:00
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