Signs of Spring: May 22, 2000
Today's Update Includes:
Babies & Birthdays
Why not celebrate spring's new life with a birthday cake? Not all birthday cakes need to be baked in the oven. Here's a fitting Journey North celebration recipe called "dirt cake," made with ground Oreo cookies and chocolate pudding!
A Good Time to be Born
It isn't just a coincidence that so many baby animals are born or hatched right when there is an abundance of food. Reproductive cycles are timed to maximize the chances of the babies' survival. Baby owls and hawks hatch out when receding snows are exposing mice just the right size for their little mouths. And by the time the babies are learning to hunt on their own a few weeks after hatching, there are lots of other inexperienced baby animals around to practice on. Hummingbirds hatch when there is an abundance of flowers to provide nectar and tiny insects. Goldfinches don't hatch until their favorite plants, like thistle and milkweed, are producing lots of seeds. They use the downy seeds for building their nests as well as for eating. Wolf pups are born in the arctic when caribou are calving for two good reasons. Their mothers will have nutritious diets to help them produce milk for the pups, and the babies will have easy prey for hunting as they learn that skill.
Try This! Seasonal Births?
Are humans born in specific seasons? Collect a data sample to help you find out. Ask everyone in the room what month they were born. Interview as many people as you can. Record all answers and graph the data by months. Look at the graph to see whether more humans are born in specific seasons. Discuss whether the birth season is as important in the life cycle of humans as it is in the life cycle of animals. Explain your thinking.
Final Note from Journey North
As we celebrate the renewal of plant and animal life now taking place all around us, let's dedicate ourselves to protecting these things we love so much. Then, with our help, future generations can continue to enjoy them.
Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, was asked his vision of the environmental challenges facing the nation and the world. Without pause, he replied: "Achieving stability in population growth in the U.S. and elsewhere is the most important of the hundreds of challenges facing us."
These facts and figures are daunting. And because the solutions to overpopulation
are so controversial, people are afraid to discuss the topic.
Try This! How Many People?
Find out how many people were on Earth when YOU were born. Watch the population clock change before your eyes, and play an interactive game. Understand why the world's population has exploded in recent years, and why it might stabilize during the next century. Do it all when you visit this friendly Website:
Journey North Year-End Evaluation
This is the FINAL Signs of Spring Update. Have a Great Summer!
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