September 5, 2011

Sounds of the Seasons

by Education Program Director Amy Yeakel

We are so fortunate to be based in a place that experiences the beauty of the changing seasons. We look forward to the warmth of spring, summer fun, the colors of fall and the winter snow that turns our area in to a wonderland. You may have a certain sign that you watch for with the changing seasons. Perhaps a first robin, the presence of pussy willow, a vernal pool coming alive or a golden forsythia say spring to you. Swimming in the lake or escaping to the cooler mountains may mean summer. End of summer and fall bring harvest and preparing for the winter. For you, that first snow or the departure of certain birds may mean winter is coming.

At the Science Center we have many signs of the seasons too. And surely the ones I mentioned above are noticeable around here as well. But we have some other signs that are particular to the center and specifically some certain sounds. It can only be spring when we have the return of our amazing volunteers on Clean Up Day and shortly after that the sounds of schools and families on the trail. May and June mean the sounds of arriving busses and hundreds of school children exploring and learning. Summer brings the many vacationers and fall brings the sounds of the foliage viewers. Those of us that work here at the Center love to open those windows and hear the arrival of guests and program participants as they come to learn about NH ecology!

I can not count the number of times people mentioned to me a new and special sound. This sound is particular to what people typically think is our slower season, fall through winter and in to spring. This year for the first time we had the sounds of children exploring every day year round! What a sight to see and hear the children of Blue Heron School as they hiked along in their snowsuits!

I am writing this column in the steamy heat of late July but by the time you read this once again it will be a change of seasons, bringing along its own set of special sounds. For us here at the Center, those sounds will be the return of children at Blue Heron School and the many visiting school children from around the state. Be sure to stop a moment and appreciate the sounds of your seasons!

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