Signs of Spring BINGO! - Cape Elizabeth Land Trust

Signs of Spring BINGO!

Signs of Spring BINGO!

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Beech Tree:Beech trees wait all winter to drop their leaves in the spring right before new leaves appear. Hint: Look for pale gold leaves, which will be replaced by soft green growth later in the month.
Betelgeuse:This red giant, a type of star, has dimmed significantly over the past months, generating a buzz of astronomical intrigue. Hint: Look for the constellation Orion, with his three-starred sword and belt, then scan upwards for a red star near his “head.”
Black-Capped Chickadee:Maine’s state bird, the Black-Capped Chickadee is a year-round resident and common bird feeder visitor. Hint: Scan the branches of nearby trees anytime you hear “chicka-dee-dee-dee!”
Crow:While common, crows are among nature’s smartest birds, capable of using tools and recognizing faces. Hint: Listen for a loud “caw!”
Full Moon:The “Pink Moon,” named after the color of blooming spring flowers, will reach full on April 26th. Hint: Weather-permitting, just head outside and look up!
Green Cattail:Cat-tails regenerate each year, sending up new shoots among the dried out stems and leaves from previous years. Hint: Check at the base of leftovers from last season for new, green shoots.
Lilac Bloom:Lilac blooms typically emerge a couple weeks after leaves, providing a second data point for the start of spring. Hint: If you found the leaves already, check back 2-3 weeks later for blossoms.
Lilac Leaf:Lilac leaves and blooms are tracked by scientists accross the country as a proven indicator of the start of spring. Hint: One of the earliest species to put out leaves; check bushes and hedgerows for signs of life.
Lyrid Meteor Shower:Meteor showers occur when the earth, usually on an annual basis, passes through debris left by a comet. Hint: Meteors are easier to see when there is no moon in the sky – keep an eye out in the early morning of April 21-23.
Maple Tree Flowers:Different species of maple will produce different color flowers in spring. Hint: Look for drooping flowers in different colors.
Migrating Geese:Geese are among the easiest birds to recognize as they pass high overhead. Hint: Look up when you hear them, and watch for flocks moving up the coast.
Oak Tree Leaves:This hardwood tree grows yellow flowers and characteristic, multi-lobed leaves in the spring. Hint: Follow the acorns!
Outside Air Temperature Above 60° F:Daytime high temperatures drift slowly upwards as our days get longer and the sun has more time to warm the earth. Hint: Keep an eye out over the course of the day to determine the highest point.
Patch of Snow:In the shadiest spots and rockiest crevices, snow can survive into May, even here in Southern Maine! Hint: If your yard gets a lot of sun, try a shadier park or preserve nearby.
Pleiades:A dense constellation of stars, through which Venus will travel as it peaks this month. Hint: If you found Orion, follow his bow to the right, past V-shaped Taurus, to find this cluster.
Rabbit or Hare:Snowshoe hare shed their coats in spring, returning to brown for better camoflauge. Hint: These are crepuscular, so look at dawn and dusk, when they’re more active.
Red-Winged Blackbird:Red-Winged Blackbirds are one of the first bird species to return in spring. Hint: Listen for a song, and watch for flashes of red as it flies by. Wetlands are your best bet.
Redback Salamander:Maine’s most abundant salamander emerges from underground dormancy in the spring to mate in marshes and vernal pools. Hint: Look under rocks and logs, where moisture stays trapped during the day.
Robin:Robins are another species of bird that returns early in spring. Hint: Keep an eye on lawns and fields, especially on warmer days when insects or worms are more active.
Satellite:Believe it or not, satellites can be easy to spot with the naked eye. Hint: Easiest to spot about an hour after sunset, or an hour before dawn, when they catch the setting/rising sun from their orbits.
Sit Spot:Find a spot to sit and observe the nature around you. What do you notice? Hint: You can return to this same spot throughout the spring (and later) to track changes over time.
Spotted Salamander:These salamanders are less common than Redback, but oftentimes larger and easier to spot. Hint: To maximize your chances, look closer to vernal pools where they might be headed to mate.
Spring Peeper:Perhaps the the most recognizable sound of spring, these frogs flock to freshwater ponds and marshes each spring in hopes of finding a mate. Hint: Easy to detect with your ears, but harder to spot: look for low branches overhanging shallow water.
Venus:This planet returns to the night sky every April, setting on the WNW horizon in the early evening. Hint: The earliest you should look is April 24th, right at twilight and just barely above the horizon.
White-Tailed Deer:A common sight in Southern Maine, keep an eye out for young calves as we move into May. Hint: You’re more likely to spot them near sections of woodland, especially if there are food sources nearby.

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