Tulip Garden Update: March 23, 2001
This Week's Data
Gardens from all over are reporting "happenings!" Since our last report we have heard news that tulips are blooming in 8 more gardens, and we're chalking up 35 more gardens with emerging tulips! Be sure to report to us about your garden! See the special pictures below that will help you to define bloom and emerge in your garden.
Emerging on the Equinox
Excited students from all over the country are reporting that the Vernal Equinox brought spring to their gardens. We thought you would like to share their excitement:
Snow on your Parade
Snowfall this year has been greater than average according to records kept for many years. This week we had another series of snowstorms drop up to six inches of snow in parts of North America.
Study the two maps. Do you see the belt of new snow across the Appalachian Mountains? Snow also fell in parts of New England and the Rocky Mountains. Compare this weather map with the latest tulip map. Then see if you can answer these questions:
Students Across the Continent Puzzled by Observation
Again and again, many students had the same surprise this spring:
"We still have snow on our tulip bed, but partial clearing. In the clearings we have 4 emerging tulips! Maybe more under the snow." Old Mission Peninsula School, Traverse City, MI
"Our tulips began to emerge under the snow on February 28th. Now that the snow has melted somewhat we realize that yes, they did indeed begin to emerge that early. This has been a very snowy winter for us and yet our tulips are coming up earlier than ever!!" Mystic CT
"After the snow melted (we got 12 inches of snow on March 6th) our tulips finally emerged!" Bruceton Mills, WV
"The first green spears are just poking up through the snow. The second graders are very excited!" Briarwood, Rochester, NY
"They are just emerging. They are planted in a shady area, and as of yesterday there were still patches of snow surrounding them. But they're up!" Mamaroneck, NY
What is going on here? Could tulips that were buried under the cold, cold snow have been growing? After all, you were told in the Spring Fever lesson that tulips don't grow at all when temperatures are freezing.
York Middle School Reporting In
Gayle Kloewer's Seventh Graders have been busy collecting data on their tulip projects.
Running with the First Annual Microclimate Challenge
This Challenge asked students to find a site that would be a perfect example of where NOT to plant tulips for the International Tulip Garden We wanted you to find a site that does not typify the climate in your area. It worked out great. Brett and Andy reported back to us with their results from a garden they planted next to their school building on the sunny west side. Take a look at the fantastic job they have done recording and photographing their results.
Which Comes First, the Tulips or the Leaves?
Leaf-out should occur sometime after your tulips emerge--but before they bloom. Is this true where you live?
Here's an observation that only takes an instant to make: Look out the window and see if "leaf-out" has occurred. We define "leaf-out" as the moment the leaves on a tree are as large as a quarter. (This is also when the leaves are big enough to make full shade under the tree.) We hope to hear from your garden sites soon! Remember to report Leaf-Out in your area!
Try This! This Flip Book Won't Flop
Blankets of Snow, Discussion of Challenge Question #8
In our last update, students in Fairbanks Alaska shared their data from a fun snow day activity. Their temperature measurements beneath the snow were really interesting. You can easily see that snow cover can keep the ground much warmer than the air. If you did your math correctly, you would have found that with each centimeter of snow depth the temperature increased about 0.4 degrees F (or 0.2 degrees C).
Snow Cover Maps, Discussion of CQ #9
Last update we showed you a group of twelve snow cover maps of North America. If you studied them closely you discovered that January had the most percentage of snow cover on the continent and August was our least snowiest month of the year.
How to Respond to Today's Challenge Question
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