Monday, February 18, 2013

February Flowers

The ground is still frozen and patches of snow dot the landscape, but that hasn't kept the winter aconite from opening a few blooms in a sun-filled patch of the yard! These bright yellow flowers are almost always the first blossoms to appear each year—often around the middle of February.

winter aconite (Eranthis)
Serving as a reminder that spring is not far off, the aconite flowers mark the beginning of the blooming season, as other (mostly non-native) species will also begin to flower before long. Snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodils will soon brighten up the drab winter ground as the days continue to grow longer and the temperatures start to rise.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Great Backyard Bird Count

This weekend (February 15-18) is the annual Great Backyard Bird Count, a citizen science event where birders are encouraged to submit their sightings in order to contribute to scientific research. Despite the name of the event, bird observations can be submitted from any birdy location, not just backyards. That said, everyone should take the time to see what species are visiting their feeders and gardens. To submit sightings, simply visit the GBBC website or eBird. Entering a checklist takes only a few minutes and will provide valuable data for researchers around the world.

As I write this, over 5,000,000 individual birds representing more than 1,700 species have been counted in the 2013 GBBC! Don't forget to contribute!