We all know that most new year’s resolutions can start with the best of intentions. However, usually by the end of February, behaviors revert and life goes on as before.
Since we all live on the same planet and use its shared resources, there is a good reason and an obligation to do better for it and for ourselves. Which is why these painless nature-oriented resolutions are both important and easy to make happen as you will see.
- Unplug from your cell phone for one day a month, or just ten minutes a day, and sit in your backyard or go for a walk outside.
- Plant a tree or spread wildflower seed such as milkweed fluff.
- Visit a state or national park you’ve never been to.
- Find a clean-up day in your area and register to help. Cleanups are especially popular once the weather turns in spring.
- If you have children, let them play outside. It’s ok if they get dirty!
Maybe we’ll see snow this month! This is how a snowflake is made. It begins to form when an extremely cold water droplet freezes onto a pollen or dust particle in the sky. This creates an ice crystal. As the ice crystal falls to the ground, water vapor freezes onto the primary crystal, building new crystals – the six arms of the snowflake. Ultimately, it is the temperature at which a crystal forms — and to a lesser extent the humidity of the air — that determines the basic shape of the ice crystal. Thus, we see long needle-like crystals at 23 degrees F and very flat plate-like crystals at 5 degrees F.
“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”