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January 2011

Your top questions & reports

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 27 January 2011
Help the RSPB to count birds. Take part at home this weekend http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/ or in your school http://www.rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch/
Caught on camera! This hungry squirrel was caught on our wildlife cameras at St Fagans.

Last week Bishop Childs C.I.W Primary asked: "If you plant your bulb at the same time as your partner will they open their flowers at the same time?"  

This is a very good question and if the bulbs were planted at the same time, were the same size and kept in the same conditions then they could possibly open on the same day. But, all the bulbs are slightly different sizes and some may get more water or sunshine - so they tend to open on different days.

Generally, all of the bulbs in one school will open within a week or two of each other. At first, you get a few then the majority will open within a few days of each other, then a smaller number will take a little longer. It's a bit like a race, there will be a few quick ones, a larger group that arrives about the same time then a few slow ones.

In this experiment, we take the average flowering time. So we record each date from each flower then divide it by the total number of flowers. Look at the results from your school last year http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/2135/

Ysgol Glantwymyn asks: Ydy'r tywydd yma yn dda?/ Is this weather good? The recent warm temperatures we are having are good - as it is getting our bulbs growing. But, if we have a another cold snap it could be very damaging to our bulbs and slow them down again.

Good reports from schools:

Cwm Glas Primary:  We have got some shouts.

Maesycwmmer Primary School: A very frosty and cold week. We have noticed a few of our bulbs have started to grow. We have our chart ready and we are going to keep personal records of how much they grow each week. This is a great idea!

St. Mary's Catholic Primary School: It has been quite sunny this week and we haven't had a lot of rain.

Many thanks

Professor Plant 

St Dwynwen's day cards

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 20 January 2011

We will be making St Dwynwen's Day cards this saturday (drop in session in Oriel 1 at the usual times of 11 until 1 and 2 until 4). Am still working on the designs for our cards, so far I have tried and been happy with two different pop up cards, one with material, and one with felt. For those who are a bit more adventurous (or possibly the adults!) we will be making felt hearts - you could even add a little pocket to leave a love note!

Has anyone spotted spring?

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 14 January 2011
First sign of spring in my garden!

After all the snow and freezing temperatures, today seems almost hot in Cardiff at 10 degrees Celsius. My bulbs must have noticed too - because they have already started to grow! It really cheered me up to see some life returning to my garden!

Ysgol Porth Y Felin reported: "Now the snow has cleared we can see that the plants are growing. It is getting warmer!" Excellent news! Let me know if the bulbs in your school have started to grow or if you have seen any other signs of spring locally? Send me photographs if you have any.

At this time of year all schools taking part in this spring bulb investigation should be busy collecting weather records for a chance to win a trip and checking your bulbs daily for signs of growth. Please use the resources below to be sure to know what you are looking for and how to record properly.

My favourite question of the week comes from Bishop Childs C.I.W Primary. They asked: "If you plant your bulb at the same time as your partner will they open their flowers at the same time?"  Let me know what you think the answer is and I will reveal next week....

Lots of rain & floods. Unfortunately, many areas of Wales are now suffering with floods, including our museum at St Fagans. Maesycwmmer Primary School reported that they have had "A very wet week!" with over 100mm of rain in one day. Take a look at our recent weather reports sent in from schools to see how much rain they are getting. 

Across the world, many countries are suffering very badly from flooding. In Brazil, Australia and Sri Lanka floods have affected the lives of many people. Although you can't make a direct link between the recent floods and climate change, they do hold a warning for the future: Scientists predict such extreme weather events will increase both in intensity and frequency as the planet warms.

This is why the work that each spring bulb school is doing is so important - so please keep up the good work!

Professor Plant

Quilting Club

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 13 January 2011

I've blogged about it before, but we have started a quilting club here in Oriel 1, St Fagans: National History Museum. We meet every two months on a saturday morning between 11 and 12.30, our next meeting is on 5th March. It's a relaxed and informal session with a mixture of complete beginners and people that have been quilting for a while. Samantha Jenkins is there to help out when we make quilting errors and generally to offer hints and tips.

It's been really lovely and I have started making my own quilt too

It looks pretty garish in this photo so I hope it's going to turn out ok! It would be great if the quilters in the group could email me photos of their works in progress too - my email address is sian.lile@museumwales.ac.uk

Floods!

Posted by Gareth Bonello on 13 January 2011
First it was the snow and now it's the rain! The Ely burst its banks at St Fagans today and rose pretty high. A mere trickle compared to what's happening over in queensland though... You can help victims of the floods in Australia here