Learning about spring flowers: List of wildflowers

For many parts of the world, snow and frost is slowly melting. And the water is seeping into the ground. Many of the seeds that were once asleep are now beginning to bloom. Many flowers are beginning to appear in different places.

Some particular flowers are amazingly the source of food for many insects and animals. But what’s more wonderful than to look at these beautiful flowers. They have vivid colors and sweet fragrances. They cover the landscape in some colorful display of reds, yellows, blues, and all the other colors of the rainbow.

These are just a few of the signs that spring has arrived in many parts of the world. Spring brings many seasonal changes: flowers start to bloom, grass becomes greener, birds, and butterflies are migrating back to their homes, and hibernation is beginning to come to an end for some animals.

Many of these changes are triggered by how the earth rotates. As the earth spins around the sun, it allows the seasons to change around the world. It also gives equinox or solstice points in a calendar year.

FlowersOne significant sign of spring is the sighting of wildflowers. There are many and countless types of flowers. The 25 most common sightings of wildflowers in spring are:

  • Apple blossom = flores de manzano de flores
  • Azaleas = azalea
  • Begonias = begonia
  • Blackthorn = espino de flores
  • Bloodroot = sanguinaria
  • Cherry blossom = flor del cerezo
  • Calla Lily = cala, lirio de agua, flor del jarro
  • Cosmos = cosmos
  • Daisies = margaritas
  • Dogwood tree = flores del árbol Cornejo florido
  • Gardenia = gardenia
  • Geranium = geranio
  • Gerberas = gerberas
  • Hyacinth = jacinto
  • Irises = iris
  • Jasmine = jazmín
  • Lilacs = lilas
  • Lily of the Valley = lirio de la flor del valle
  • Orchids = orquídeas
  • Pansies = pensamientos
  • Roses = rosas
  • Tulip = tulipanes
  • Tiger Lily – lirio de tigre
  • White Rock-Rose = flor de roca
  • Zinnia = zinnia

Wildflowers can grow in just about any type of soil or environment. But they grow best in rich nutrient soil. Besides needing water and sun, flowers need the proper nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium and minerals. Many of these elements occur naturally in soil. But commercial fertilizers already have the proper percentage of each mineral or element. But if you cannot travel to amazing places to see wildflowers, you can always plant these at home by using some potting soil.

Have you seen these beautiful flowers in your hometown? Has spring arrived in your area?

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How to make a homemade pinecone birdfeeder

Red Cardinal birds like to eat the crunchy seeds. Finches like to nimble on those seeds. And Woodpeckers like to peck away at the nearest branches. But in winter, there are few or no food sources for some of these amazing birds. Many of them depend on the countless backyard feeders placed by humans. Or, they may not have enough food to eat or to share with their young.

As the winter progresses, the natural resources begin to disappear for some of these birds. So to encourage and promote bird feeding for North American birds, the National Bird-Feeding Society proclaimed in 1994, February as the National Bird-Feeding Month.

For the past decades, bird enthusiasts across the nation set different types of feeders for these birds. There’s more you can do. You can make a simple bird feeder from the natural resources already in your backyard. In this project, you can learn how to make a very easy and simple bird feeder from pinecones. And this project is simple and safe to make with the kids.

Pinecone bird-feeder hanging on tree

Materials: 

  • Pinecones
  • Yarn
  • Cornmeal
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Birdseeds
  • Plastic spoons
  • Safety scissors

Warning: For peanut butter allergies use the alternative method.

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Instructions:

  • Place some newspaper over the working surface.
  • Inspect the pinecone for bugs and spiders. Invert the pinecone and gently shake any excess debris that might adhere to the crevices.
  • Place a couple of tablespoons of creamy peanut butter on a small bowl. Try to avoid crunchy peanut butter since it can pose a choking hazard.
  • Use plastic spoons to slowly insert the peanut butter within the crevices of the pinecone. Place about a cup of cornmeal in a small bowl. Roll the peanut butter pinecone in the cornmeal to ensure that the pieces adhere.
  • Alternative: For children with peanut butter allergies, use a paste of a cup of cornmeal with a 1-2 teaspoons of water.
  • Place some birdseed on a shallow paper plate or bowl. Roll the pinecone in the seeds. Or let the children use their fingers to insert the seeds throughout the crevices of the pinecone.
  • Cut about a 12-inch piece of yarn. Tie it around the top of the pinecone. Make another knot at the end of the yarn. You can do this step one at any time.
  • Repeat the process if necessary, depending on the number of children.
  • Select a proper place to hang the bird feeder in your backyard or school yard. An adult should do this step.

If you see any type of birds, can you name them?

Here’s a list of some common backyard birds that you might encounter: American Goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, Purple Finch, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, Blue Jay, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, or Chipping Sparrow.

How do rodents use their teeth for survival?

When it comes to seeing the display of so many animals in the wild, can you guess which ones have the biggest and toughest teeth? Did you ever wonder what type of teeth makes the best tools for grabbing food, carrying their young, or making their home? Beavers and squirrels use their teeth to grip, to dig, and to eat.

Beavers are called Castor canadensis. And they are one of the largest rodents on Earth. They are expert swimmers and builders. They use their front teeth and their lower body to stand tall to cut trees. At this position, beavers chop up the wood and use it as materials to build dams and their homes.

The use of their teeth allows them to cut down all types of trees like willows or cottonwoods to name a few. Experts believe that beavers have a bite of about 176 pounds per square inch. That’s twice as much as a human’s biting force.

Squirrel

Beavers use their teeth to gather materials to build homes or food storages that may lie underneath lakes or rivers. But the dead wood that is left behind is not wasted. Many animals survive by utilizing the decaying trees and branches as homes and shelters. More amazing is the teeth in beavers grow continuously, replacing the enamel from the hard work of chewing and cutting.

Sciuridae or better known as squirrels also have special teeth that help them survive. Squirrels gather their food and use their teeth as a tool to break nuts and hard shell seeds. Similar to beavers, squirrels also use their front teeth to gather food supplies.

But unlike beavers, they don’t generally use their teeth to cut down trees. Squirrels use their teeth mostly to break open nutshells. Humans throughout the years have domesticated many ground squirrels. The diet of squirrels consists mostly of wild seeds and nuts. However, when food disposal is not properly stored, such as parks or backyards, squirrels tend to eat these instead of natural food.

This could have caused many of these squirrels to eat unhealthy foods. Nowadays, most of these rodents are used to litter garbage cans or other human disposal areas to find other types of foods. This has created a tremendous problem in some suburban areas where squirrels live. Other nuances to neighborhoods are raccoons, sewer rats, and mice.

Common rodents that have similar characteristics to beavers and squirrels are marmots, prairie dogs, chipmunks, and flying squirrels.

As a general rule, people should never feed wildlife, no matter how tempting it may be or how cute the creature could be.