It's the Spring Equinox today- and we like to mark these days a little bit at least, bring the seasons into our life in a real way- and teach the kids to be a bit conscious of it at the very least. It's a cool thing that the days and night change in our part of the world, and I think we should notice it, if not celebrate it. I suppose they change in most parts of the world- except the equator- and that's always in our discussions of why we could never move to Hawaii- we like the fact that the days are shorter in winter and longer in summer*.
Anyways we decided to mark today with a little tribute to the birds- a basket full of soft nesting materials, which they can use to build nests- fitting for the first day of spring I think.
Step 1: Gather supplies- yarn, string, hair, thin strips of cloth, all cut 4 to 6 inches in length. Cat hair, dust bunnies, soft batting, and roving are all good too.
Step 3: Stuff it into the basket- I used an empty free hanging Suet basket- though I think you could also just hang a bunch of stuff from a tree- loosely tied around the middle. My basket was 4 dollars though and we'll use it again and again.
Step 4: Hang the basket from the trees outside and watch the birds build nests- you can probably identify some of the string if you happen to see it in nests later in the summer.
I think we'll probably have this basket hanging for a while before it sees too much use. It's still too cold here for Robins- but once they come they'll use tons of nest building supplies. It's still a nice way to mark the Spring Equinox though. Here are some links related to birds and nest monitoring- Project Nest Watch, BioKids, Birds Nest Safari- Highlights
* We just learned the other night that originally clocks in England made the hours longer during a winters night, and shorter during a summer night- that's how they figured it out- so the sun would always set and rise at the same time- but the hours were not a consistent amount of time. Midnight in January would just drag on and on eh?
Linking this post up to Green Thumb Thursday over at Little mountain Haven- if you're stopping by from there leave a note in the comments- I'd love to hear from you!