Category: Natural Science 101

A Long Winter, and the Leaves Were Late

For the third year in a row, Science Center staff took note of the leaves. The study is a simple one, but with great potential interest for the future. The goal is to determine whether or not the trees in our area are leafing out earlier than usual – “usual” the word to be determined […]

A Study for the Birds – 2016 Breeding Bird Circles

Each year, Science Center staff steps into the woods at dawn, braves the mosquitoes and counts the birds. In its fourth year, the Science Center’s Breeding Bird Circle Study focuses on four spots, three times in the month of June: the Sylvester Bridge (directly over a vernal pool), the Nelson Memorial Bench (in the old […]

Water Quality Testing First Wave

“Those kids were outstanding,” said Jim Spinale, and he would be a good judge of that topic. The retired middle school science teacher spent decades working with South Shore kids on days just like this one. On Thursday, May 12, approximately 50 students from the Hanover Middle School joined naturalists and volunteers from the South […]

Frost Hits Jacobs Pond

It was cold overnight. It’s been an odd fall season. The ducks have not truly started migrating yet, which tells us that it hasn’t been cold enough for this time of year. But as the railing at the dock at Jacobs Pond is telling us, things are about to change. Maybe not tonight, but soon […]

No wonder my shoulders hurt…

So, maybe we’re reaching here, but numbers are numbers, right? Last year when we did our  leaf measurement survey (measuring leaves early and late in the growing season, capturing rate of change, perhaps over the long haul telling the story of global climate change) we found that the average American beech tree leaf was 57 […]

Branching Out

Really, it’s leafing out, but who’s counting. In 2014 the Science Center joined the Manomet Center for Conservation Science’s climate change studies by tracking the rate of change in the leafing out of trees on the property. We selected two trees of different species (Beech and Red Maple), chose five branches and measured the width […]

Winter Wren

Our Birds and Breakfast program ran this morning to the tune of 47 species! Spring migration is well underway. Highlights included visuals on singing Ovenbirds (several of them, actually), a close-up view of a Northern Parula, a singing Orchard Oriole on Jacobs Island, a Wood Thrush singing one note at a time and a Winter […]

The Big Guy Has Arrived

For about a decade now, Wompatuck State Park has been the place to be to see a Pileated Woodpecker on the South Shore. It was always a matter of simple math as to why they were not here. Big woodpeckers need big trees. For the last 140 years or so, the South Shore has been […]

Ah, to be a Toad in Springtime

First graders found these two this morning in their spring embrace, not quite understanding what it was all about, which was fine. That will come later. But for those of you paying attention now, here’s the story. American Toads fertilize externally. What we see here – called amplexus – is the embrace that makes that […]

First Birds of the Spring

We took advantage of a beautiful Wednesday morning for our first Birds and Breakfast walk on the trails of the Science Center and Jacobs Pond. And what a day it was! We found that the Mute Swans have returned to Jacobs Pond. We found a Black-capped Chickadee carrying food in and out of a nest […]