There’s a whole world of nature waiting for you, and it’s closer than you think. SO GET READY, GET SET. . .
by Luise Woelflein; art by Jack Desrocher
It’s spring and your world is bursting with new life! As winter slips away, there’s a whole bunch of new sights, sounds, and smells for you to check out. For example, maybe there’s a fresh new odor in the air. “Follow your nose” to the smell’s source, if you can. Sit quietly in a peaceful spot and listen for new sounds.
Depending on the time of day, maybe you’ll hear birds or frogs calling. Or maybe there’s a nearby stream, rushing and bubbling with melted ice and snow. Can you find any swollen buds ready to burst open? How many different colors can you find blooming?
GET A GARDEN GROWING
Want to have butterflies visiting your backyard this summer? Then plant a garden this spring just for them and other wildlife! For tips, go to nwf.org/gardenkids.
KEEP A CALENDAR OF SPRING FIRSTS
What are the signs that spring has arrived where you live? Which flowers bloom when? When do different trees “leaf out”? When do different migrating birds arrive? If you can discover the answers to these questions, you’ll be the “Spring Thing” expert in your neighborhood!
First, find or make a calendar. Make sure each date has enough space for your notes and drawings. Then get outside and keep your eyes and ears open. Mark down every new spring thing on your calendar the day you first notice it. (Check around on these pages for some “spring firsts” to be on the alert for.) Be sure to save your calendar so you can compare what happened this year to what happens next year and the year after that!
Some Spring Firsts to Look For
• spider web
• fuzzy pussy willow buds
• mosquito humming
• baby squirrel
• frogs calling
• bulbs sprouting
• grass turning green
• frog eggs
• bird building nest
• the constellation Leo
• bee buzzing
• fern fiddleheads
For more . . .
• Keep track of spring’s spread across North America at the Journey North website. You can even join Journey North and “Report Your Sightings.” Check it all out at journeynorth.org.
• Get more great gardening tips from the National Wildlife Federation and learn how to certify your yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat® site at nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife.
• Hear some sounds of nature at naturesongs.com.
• Celebrate National Wildlife Week. For more information, go online to nwf.org/nationalwildlifeweek.