According to Wikipedia, the March Equinox occurred last night at 7:26 PM local time. We can finally stop thinking about the groundhog; spring is officially here. All I want to do is go outside and play.
Even though the nights are getting shorter, they’re warming up enough to do some serious stargazing. The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh has published their 2011 schedule of Star Parties at Wagman Observatory and Mingo Creek Park Observatory. I personally recommend visiting the Wagman site and using the telescope that was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie and built by John Brashear. But if you can’t make it to a party, or if you just can’t get enough of that night sky, you can always come to the library and grab a guide.
Another exciting part of spring is the local Peregrine Falcon nesting season. Pittsburgh’s National Aviary hosts live Falcon Cams at the Gulf Tower downtown, and Cathedral of Learning in Oakland. If you want to know more about what you’re watching, Kate St. John of WQED has put together an incredible Peregrine FAQ, as part of her blog Outside My Window: A Bird-Watcher’s View of the World. She also covers general bird anatomy and behavior, and describes happenings in the local environment down to the appearance and function of the weeds in the winter. If you find yourself wanting to get a closer look at Kate St. John’s world, we’ve got books that can help you make your little piece of habitat more inviting.
I’m also looking forward to hitting the local trails. I’ve always been a hiker, but this year I may actually get myself a bike and explore some of the nearby rail trails. Of course, when starting any new fitness routine, your doctor should be your first stop. But after you’ve been declared healthy, we can help you figure out what to do next. Here’s the book I’ve had my eye on –
Knack Cycling For Everyone: A Guide to Road, Mountain, and Commuter Biking by Leah Garcia and Jilayne Lovejoy.
Are you getting ready for any fun outdoor activities?