Today is March 20
Bibliomania is the excess fondness of collecting and possessing books. According to checkiday.com, on March 20, 1990, Stephen Blumberg’s bibliomania caught up with him. He was arrested for stealing more than 23,600 books (weighing 19 tons) from 268 libraries, universities, and museums. It had taken him over 20 years to steal them, and he got them from 45 states, Washington D.C., and Canada.
First Day of Spring
The official beginning of spring is a highly anticipated day among people who can’t wait to put away their winter coats and soak up some warm sunlight. But the day of the spring equinox is just as worthy of celebration for its uniqueness as it is for its symbolic connection with the end of winter. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, on the spring equinox, which is sometimes referred to as the “vernal equinox” or the “March equinox,” the sun crosses the celestial equator going south to north. Equinoxes (there’s another one in September each year) are the only two times a year that the sun rises due east and sets due west for everyone on Earth. As the sun passes overhead on the equinox, the tilt of Earth is zero relative to the sun. That means that the planet’s axis neither points toward or away from the sun. Though it’s understandable why so many people appreciate the spring equinox, which ushers in increasing sunlight hours and later sunsets, the day’s uniqueness makes it even more worthy of celebration. This year the spring equinox happens on Saturday, March 20 at 5:37 a.m. EDT in the northern hemisphere.
With its increased sunshine and warmer temperatures, spring is a beloved time of year. For those who live in areas where the weather changes dramatically throughout the year, spring can be a respite from the snow and also a chance to enjoy the outdoors prior to the arrival of the muggy, hot days of summer.
Families can create a bucket list of entertaining and perhaps educational spring activities. Those who want to try something new can explore these ideas.
- Check out a cherry blossom showcase. Cherry trees are popular and beautiful trees that flower in the spring. Their masses of pink and white blossoms are one of the first signals that winter has ended. Cherry tree varieties bloom over the course of several weeks, and climate will dictate how early or late these trees will showcase their spectacular flowers. Visit public gardens and other areas known for their dramatic cherry blossom displays.
- Watch a sunrise or sunset. Take advantage of longer days by enjoying nature’s light show. Wake up extra early and start the day with the sunrise. If you’re not a morning person, then wait until the last of the amber and red streaks light the sky and watch the sun drop below the horizon.
- Fly a kite. There is a reason why the adage “March goes in like a lion and comes out like a lamb” is so fitting. Early spring weather can be gusty and unpredictable. Take advantage of windy conditions by flying a kite by the coast or in an open field.
- Head to a farm. Spring is not only about the rebirth of trees and flowers, but also a prime time for various animals to give birth to their young. A visit to an area farm or petting zoo can be a great way to catch a glimpse of some of these adorable little as they enter and adapt to their new environments.
- Check out a small town. Take a road trip to an out-of-the-way hamlet. Spend the entire day there shopping, dining and supporting a small town community.
- Enjoy al fresco dining. While outdoor dining during the pandemic may have been done as a necessity, do not forget how it also can be a relaxing way to enjoy a meal. Find a restaurant with a particularly scenic backdrop and dine outdoors.
- Visit a thrift shop or flea market. Spring cleaning can serve as the catalyst for people to put items on sale. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Spring can be a great time to shop for antiques as well.
- Go horseback riding. Enjoy the scenery on the back of a majestic mare or spectacular stallion.
Spring is a perfect season to enjoy various activities.
World Sparrow Day
Warm weather means more opportunities to spend time outdoors while at home. Whether your favorite form of outdoor recreation includes sitting on the patio reading or digging in the garden, there’s a good chance that you will be sharing the space with local wildlife. Optimizing opportunities to view and interact with backyard wildlife can make the great outdoors even more enjoyable.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology indicates that there are around 2,059 bird species on the continent of North America. Red-winged blackbirds, yellow-rumped warblers, American robins, and chipping sparrows are among the most commonly seen birds in North America.
Making a backyard hospitable to birds can increase the chances for sightings and hearing their sweet songs. Installing a bird bath can be a step in the right direction.
Bird baths can make yards more attractive to birds. Birds require a supply of fresh, clean water for drinking and bathing. By setting up a bath, homeowners can attract not only seed-loving birds, but those that don’t eat seeds and wouldn’t normally congregate around feeders, indicates All About Birds. Experts surmise that birds may bathe to maintain their feathers.
Not all bird baths are constructed the in the same fashion. Many bird baths sold in stores are better suited for decoration than for serving as functional baths. There are four general types of bird bath: standing pedestal, hanging bath, deck-mounted, and ground-level. In general, the lower a bird bath is to the ground, the more likely birds are to use it. Most natural sources of water birds use are on or near the ground. Therefore, ground-level bird baths may be the best investments.
It is important to keep the water in a bird bath shallow (around two inches of water or less). This enables birds to splash around safely and wade in.
Birds do not want to slide around, so a material that is coated and slippery, like glazed ceramic or glass, may not be too popular. Rough stone or a bird bath modified with pea gravel or rocks can give birds steady footing.
Place the bird bath in the shade if possible to ensure the water is cool and fresh. Locate it by a tree so the birds can hop up to a branch and preen afterwards. All About Birds also says that a bird bath is more attractive if it has a dripping or moving water feature, as this is often irresistible to birds.
Another way to ensure the bath will be used is to keep it clean and maintained. Change the water every day or two. Rinse off the bath to remove droppings, bugs and other debris.
Once birds learn there is a comfortable bath nearby, they may be more apt to visit a yard and may even become frequent guests