Journey North News: Fall 2010 - Spring 2011

Signs of the Seasons (phenology) observation updates posted the first of each month.

Spring 2011

Signs of the Season: Observation Reminder for May
The great surge of migrations is in full swing as May arrives across North America. Warblers, orioles, hummingbirds, and grosbeaks are being reported in great numbers. Listen for new sounds, and celebrate seasonal change this month. Visit a northern school watching for signs of spring, and a backyard habitat filled with songbirds. Photo: Helen Nofz

snowgeese Signs of the Season: Observations for April
April brings the great greening. Nature's timing is perfect. Leaves emerge, insects hatch and birds arrive. The food chain comes alive after the pause for winter. Listen for new sounds, and observe the small changes that happen every day now. Fill in the maps with your sighting reports. Create a record of leaf out. Put it into a book you can keep and compare with each coming year.

Photo: Jean Iron

Signs of the Season: Observations for March
March is a time of dramatic change. Make a temperature timeline this month. Record each day's high, low, and average temperatures and add all the signs of spring you notice. Spring officially begins on March 20, but when does it begin unofficially for you? Think about it. Send us your sightings. Keep your eyes and ears open and follow along on spring's adventures with Journey North!

temperature map Signs of the Season: Observations for February
North America is big and your sightings describe many different climates. You reported not only great snow piles in the NE but also the first sprouts of plants along the West Coast! Explore a map to see what might explain these wonderful events. Examine how the sun's light shines on our planet Earth. Then show what you know after reading about bear hibernation!
skaters Signs of the Season: Observations for January
The Winter Solstice is behind us now, and the Northern Hemisphere will soon see longer daylight hours. What will happen to mid-day shadows as we move toward the Spring Equinox? Explore water this month, and learn how special it is. In winter we can find water in its frozen state. Find out about a special winter sport in the Netherlands. (Hint: It is related to water.) Finally, take a look at the Earth from space and study how daylight is changing.
Fall 2010
game time

Signs of Fall: Observations for December
Journey North observers write in this month with global signs of the seasons. Fall is the season for festivals in South Korea, olives are being harvested in Italy, early snowfall brings snowball games in England, winter hats and coats are out of storate in the Netherlands, and they're celebrating Thanksgiving in Japan. December brings the longest night of the year. How do other cultures celebrate, and what is your tradition? Photo: W. Bachman

timeline Signs of Fall: Observations for November
In addition to seeing flocks of migrating birds overhead, students in Anchorage, Alaska reported a sign of fall unique for them - moose, spotted in town! What does the changing season look like in your hometown? View the Earth from space to get the big picture this month. Spotlight one classroom; visit a huge phenology timeline to inspire your phenology studies.
game of conkers Signs of Fall: Observations for October
This month we explore autumn across the Northern Hemisphere. While students in England play a special game, students in Italy prepare for the harvest of some unique foods. On the island of Okinawa students celebrate "shubun no hi," a Japanese national holiday, and in the Netherlands the fog and cold are signs that autumn has arrived!
common grackle Signs of Fall: Observations for September
What does fall look like in your part of the world? Once each month, take a few minutes to go outside and record the changes you see. Plan to go outside exactly one month later and see how things have changed. Watch for a monthly reminder. Keep in mind that shifting sunlight is the basis for all other changes you'll see this season!

Join us in September!
SIGNS OF FALL OBSERVATION REMINDERS will be posted here once a month from September through June.
Get ready to gather data about fall changes! Find out why it's worth collecting, how to do it, and what you can do with your findings. Photo: Dave Mansell