April brings the primrose sweet, scatters daisies at our feet ...
And April also brings us (at long, long last), the first true days of spring: mild, soft and alive with sound and color. Nature is finally shrugging off its winter shawl, and showering us with its warm and friendly welcome.
It feels so good to open the windows again, and to leave the house with just a sweater - or none at all! There are many, many joys to expore with our children this month, and what follows is but a sampling, just my own thoughts for the season. As always, I'd love to hear yours! But for now, please join me as I consider ...
~ Themes and Plans for April ~
- Crocus are now in full bloom.
- Skunk cabbage grows in marshy areas.
- Bears are waking in the (deep) woods.
- Daffodils are in their full glory.
- The skies are gray one minute, blue the next ...
- ... and so rainbows are quite possible.
- Forsythia is bursting all over.
- At night we hear the spring peepers.
- Mourning cloaks are the first butterflies we'll see.
- Returning ~ thrush, phoebe, mockingbird and catbird.
- The smell of wild onions is in the air.
- There could be a light flurry or two.
- We'll have rainy days; the rivers will swell.
- Warm days are more frequent now.
- Juncos leave; chipmunks re-appear.
- Humpbacks are migrating back north.
- Time to check for ticks again.
- Dandelions are plentiful underfoot.
- The Full Pink Moon rises on April 20th.
- There are buds on the cherry tree ...
- ... which the sparrows love to nibble.
- Bluebells appear along the wood's edge.
- The grass is greening.
- The goldfinches are brightening.
- Gem: diamond
- Flower: sweet pea
- Saying: April showers bring May flowers.
- new potatoes
- fiddlehead ferns
- spring lamb
- pasta primavera
- snap peas
- goat cheese tart
- rhubarb crisp
- April Devotion ~ The Blessed Sacrament
- Liturgical Season: Easter (Paschaltide)
- Anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II (2)
- Pope Benedict's U.S. Visit (15-20)
- Pope Benedict's Birthday (16)
- St. George, Patron of England (23)
- St. Mark (25)
- Rogation Days (28-30)
- St. Catherine of Siena (29)
Household (& Garden)
- Take outdoor furniture out of storage.
- Rent de-thatcher; aerate lawn.
- Harden tender seedlings.
- Plant trees and/or shrubs.
- Clean out potting shed.
- Establish new garden beds.
- Prepare containers; purchase new ones.
- Choose and plant summer blooming bulbs.
- Cut dead canes out of raspberriy patch.
- Organize garden tools.
- Prune flowering bushes after blooming.
- Visit the nursery for spring plants, garden structures.
- Rake and compost leaf litter/debris.
- Spread fresh mulch.
- Spring cleaning (if not done before Easter).
- Have lawnmower serviced if necessary.
- Family meeting re ~ summer plans.
- Turn off fireplace.
- Turn on outside faucet.
- File taxes by 4/15.
- Organize financial files.
- Clean dryer vents and hoses.
- Spiff up the bikes.
- National Autism Awareness Month
- National Poetry Month
- National Keep America Beautiful Month
- National Aquarium Month
- Soccer Season!
- April Fools Day (1)
- Hans Christian Anderson (2)
- National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day (2)
- Washington Irving (3)
- Find a Rainbow Day (3)
- No Housework Day (7)
- Red Sox Home Opener (8)
- 100th Day of the Year (9)
- Thomas Jefferson (13)
- Tax Day (15)
- National Animal Crackers Day (18)
- Swan Boats Resume (19)
- Patriot's Day (21)
- Boston Marathon (21)
- Earth Day (22)
- William Shakespeare (23)
- Arbor Day (25)
- The Secret Garden
- The Wind in the Willows
- Old Turtle
- Days with Frog and Toad
- St. George and the Dragon
- Make Way for Ducklings
- The Story of the Root Children
- Our Big Home: An Earth Poem
- The Whole Green World
- The Tale of Jeremy Fisher
- The Tale of Jemimah Puddle Duck
- The Magic School Bus Makes a Rainbow
- Down Comes the Rain
- From Tadpole to Frog
- Spring Story
- The Brook Book
- Humpback Goes North
- On Noah's Ark
- The Flower Fairies of the Wayside
- Sky Tree: Seeing Science through Art
- Franklin Plants a Tree
- My Favorite Tree: Terrific Trees of North America
- Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told by a Cat
- From Caterpillar to Butterfly
- Sam the Minuteman
Field Trips & Outings
Crafts & Activities
- Make wilding sticks and nature bracelets.
- Clean up litter in a local park.
- Prepare field bags for spring.
- Begin new nature journals.
- Hang a hummingbird feeder.
- Paint a butterfly house.
- Catch tadpoles at the pond.
- Conduct a rainbow experiment.
- Go on a rainbow walk.
- Paint rocks for garden markers.
- Dig in the dirt.
- Set up a nature table at home.
- Make tissue paper butterflies.
- Color a butterfly guide.
- Befriend a tree; start a notebook.
- Re-enact St. George & The Dragon.
- Build a bluebird house.
- Look for nests before leaves come in.
- Update our Bird List.
- Prepare May baskets.
Well, I think I'd better stop there, as my lists are getting rather lengthy! I do hope this post gives you some ideas for the month ahead, though. I plan to file this outline in my planner, (alongside the others) and hope that I remember to notice, savor or do some of these things - I never expect to get to them all!
April is here at last - and it will be gone before we know it - so let's make the most of it, my friends! Happy Spring!
"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."
- Robert Frost