Nature's Notebook Quarterly
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Issue Winter 2012
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I'm sure you've noticed. Observing is slower in the winter. Plants die back. Animals hibernate.


This makes it a great time to stay cozy indoors and upload observations you've been collecting on data sheets to Nature's Notebook.  You're invited to enter any remaining observations you have saved today and start observing this year on a fresh note.



Seasonal changes for you to observe during winter warm spells

NEW iPhone app-Be an early user, test the beta version

Observe lilacs in 2012 (and order them now) 

Nature's Notebook cherry tree data is starting to show patterns



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Winter Update 

Seasonal changes to observe during warm spells


If you live in the northern part of the country, you probably haven't seen much plant activity this winter. Plants die back. Animals hibernate. However, February sometimes brings unusually warm spells. 


If this is the case this year, head outside and look for any breaking leaf buds on your trees or shrubs or for initial growth for grasses or forbs


You can also keep an eye out for the presence (or eventual absence) of ripe fruit, especially berry-like fruits. Birds eat the fruit of certain plants throughout the winter. These seasonal life cycle events in birds and shrubs can predict changes in your environment, like "species mismatch." Here's an example. 


Species Mismatch

Warm spells can trigger birds to migrate early. If they arrive too soon, before the berries they feast on have grown, they go hungry, find other things to eat, or migrate again. This is called species mismatching, and it can disrupt the natural cycle of things and have a domino effect, impacting other plants and animals.


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NEW USA-NPN iPhone App

Would you like to help test the beta version? 


A few months ago, USA-NPN rolled out a free Android app that makes uploading your observations from the field a paperless snap. 


The iPhone app isn't far behind. It does the same thing as the Android app, and it's almost ready. 


Would you like to be an early user of the iPhone app & help test the beta version?


Use it. Share what you think of it. Be a part of developing this slick technology that will elevate the observing experience of thousands of folks.



To sign up to test it, please respond to this e-mail. 


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Add Lilacs to Your Species List Today

5 reasons you'll want to observe lilacs in 2012


#5 They're gorgeous!

#4 Fragrant

#3 Hardy 

#2 Attract amusing pollinators like butterflies

#1 Phenological information on common or cloned lilacs is exceptionally useful for researchers.  


Common or cloned lilacs are great for your garden and especially useful to researchers. They've been identified as priority species because they tell us so much about so many aspects of our changing planet.


If you already have lilacs to observe, add them to your species list in Nature's Notebook now


If not, order lilac plants now for spring delivery from our friends at Jung's Nursery.

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Revealing Nature's Notebook Data

Black cherry observations showing patterns


Data contributed to the USA-NPN's national phenology database through Nature's Notebook are beginning to show patterns. 


Click here to find out what they're suggesting... 


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Thank you
Thanks for being part of the Nature's Notebook community! It's great to have you here. Enjoy the winter. In a few months, look for your upcoming issue of Nature's Notebook Quarterly, the quarterly
e-newsletter for the Nature's Notebook community.

Chat about your favorite articles with an ecologist!
Our crew at USA-NPN in Tucson reads phenology-related articles every week in "Journal Club." We gather at lunch to devour BBQ chicken pizza and discuss, debate, and ponder our changing planet. 
 Want to join the fun? 
 You are invited to share phenology-related articles or blog links that you like on the USA-NPN Facebook page Like us on Facebook. From articles on climate warming to bird migration pattern changes - let's hear it! 
The material you post in February will be considered for the topic of conversation at a USA-NPN journal club. Our biologists, researchers and experts on staff will choose an article suggested by an observer like you. We'll open up the discussion on Facebook so that you and our staff can have a conversation about the topic at hand. 
Contribute to scientific discovery - become a Citizen Scientist today!