What makes it rain?
Ever wonder why drops of water fall from the sky? Here’s an explanation.
The sun heats large bodies of water like seas, lakes, and rivers, causing the water to evaporate and rise as vapor. As the moisture moves upward, it cools and condenses to form clouds. These clouds are blown toward land by the wind. As the clouds move, they gather water droplets and become heavy. Eventually, gravity makes the water droplets fall as rain. The water returns to earth, and the cycle starts all over again.
It rains more in the spring and summer because it’s warm. Warmth produces more evaporation, producing more clouds that make rain.
Spring is in the air! Test your knowledge of this sunny season with this short quiz.
1. What’s the first day of spring called?
a) The vernal equinox
b) The spring solstice
c) The Easter equinox
d) The Easter solstice
2. On the first day of spring, day and night are nearly the same length. How long are they?
a) 10 hours
b) 12 hours
c) 14 hours
d) 8 hours
3. Is spring considered the year’s first, second, third, or fourth season?
4. Which of the following holidays doesn’t happen in spring?
b) April Fool’s Day
c) Mother’s Day
d) Valentine’s Day
5. What does spring symbolize?
6. Spring is often associated with allergies. What’s considered the biggest allergy trigger?
1. a). In the northern hemisphere, spring usually begins on March 20 or 21 but can sometimes start early on March 19.
2. b). The day is slightly longer than the night on the first day of spring.
3. a). The seasons go in order from spring, summer, fall, and winter.
4. d). Spring lasts for about three months and ends on June 21.
5. c). Spring is all about new beginnings and starting fresh.
6. c). Hay fever is what you call a pollen allergy.
3 interesting migratory birds
Migration is when an animal moves from one region or habitat to another during a particular season. Many birds migrate twice a year. During the winter, they go south; in the spring, they return to the north. Here are some facts about three interesting migratory birds.
1. Hummingbirds. Calliope hummingbirds are the world’s smallest long-distance migratory birds, traveling 5,000 miles annually. They leave central and southern British Columbia in late summer, flying south along the Pacific Coast and the American West to reach Mexico. Their long purplish-red throat feathers can identify adult male calliope hummingbirds.
2. Arctic tern. Arctic terns migrate yearly from the Arctic Circle to the Antarctic Circle. This round-trip journey of about 18,500 miles makes it one of the longest migrations of any bird species on the planet. Arctic terns can sleep and eat while gliding. They can also hover in midair, much like hummingbirds.
3. Bar-headed goose. Every spring, bar-headed geese fly from India through the Himalayan mountains and above Mount Everest to their nesting grounds in Tibet. They must cross some of the highest peaks in the world, rising to nearly 23,000 feet in altitude. Bar-headed geese rely on flapping their wings, not on gliding, and can fly over 50 miles per hour without wind to help them.
Which migratory birds do you see where you live?
Spring into action: 4 fun activities
Spring is a great time to get outdoors and have fun. Here are four fun activities that may inspire you to get some fresh air.
1. Go on a nature hunt. Challenge yourself to collect unique items like pinecones, leaves, rocks, feathers, and wildflowers. You can use what you find to make crafts, gifts, and spring decor.
2. Watch birds. Birdwatching is a great way to study nature. Borrow a bird book from your local library and see how many different species you can spot in your neighborhood.
3. Dance in the rain. Spring is often associated with rain showers. Next time it rains, put on your rain gear and play in puddles. Don’t forget your umbrella!
4. Go on a picnic. Spring is the perfect time for a picnic because the weather is mild and there aren’t many insects. Bring a blanket and some delicious snacks while enjoying the sounds of nature.
Invite your friends and family to join you outdoors.
How are rainbows formed?
Rainbows are beautiful optical illusions. Have you ever seen one before and wondered how they’re made? Here’s a quick explanation.
Although sunlight looks clear, it’s a blend of many different colors. A rainbow is created when white light enters a water droplet and splits into many colors. This happens because the water scatters the light waves through a process called refraction. The pattern of colors starts with red on the outside and chan¬ges through orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet on the inside.
The rainbow effect can be seen when water drops are in the air, like after a big rainstorm or near a waterfall. If you want to see a rainbow, your back must be to the sun. The lower the sun is in the sky, the higher the rainbow’s arc will be.
Keep your eyes out for a rainbow in the sky next time it rains.
Spring craft: an egg carton garden
Do you want to learn about where your food comes from? Planting an egg carton garden is a great place to start.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
• A cardboard egg carton
• A pair of scissors
• A pencil
• Good-quality potting soil
• A spray bottle
• A plastic bag
• Vegetable, herb, or flower seeds
Follow these steps to start your very own garden:
1. Cut the lid off an egg carton with scissors
2. Poke a drainage hole in the bottom of each egg cell using the tip of a pencil
3. Place the egg carton lid under the bottom to create a drainage tray
4. Fill each egg cell about half full of potting soil
5. Drop two or three seeds into each cell
6. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of potting soil
7. Write directly on each egg cell to keep your seeds organized
8. Mist the seeds lightly with a spray bottle
9. Place the carton in a plastic bag to keep the seeds warm
10. Water the seeds regularly until they sprout
11. Once the seedlings are about an inch tall, place them in a sunny location
When the seedlings have two or three sets of leaves, ask your parents to help you transfer them to a permanent location outside. Separate each egg cell and plant them directly in the ground with the seedling. The cardboard will decompose in the soil.
All that’s left to do is watch your seedlings grow into mature plants.
10 fun facts about bumble bees
Bumble bees are large yellow and black flying insects that harvest nectar and pollen from flowering plants. They play an important role in keeping the world’s ecosystems healthy. Here are ten interesting facts about this hardworking insect.
1. Bumble bees have extremely fast metabolisms and must eat almost continuously.
2. Bumble bees use buzz pollination. They place their upper body close to the inside of the flower and rapidly vibrate their flight muscles, producing a strong vibration. This shakes the pollen-free.
3. Bumble bees have two stomachs: one for eating and one for storing nectar.
4. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees can sting more than once because their stinger is smooth, not barbed.
5. Bumble bees have five eyes: two large eyes on either side of their heads and three eyes on the top of their heads.
6. Bumble bee colonies die in late fall except for new queens, which hibernate underground over the winter.
7. Bumble bees beat their wings 130 or more times per second.
8. Bumble bees get their name from the word bumble, which means to buzz, hum, or move about awkwardly.
9. Bumble bees are covered in a layer of oil that makes them resistant to water.
10. The largest bumble bee species can grow to an inch and a half long.
Find out how to attract bumble bees into your yard to see these insects up close.
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