According to the met office, there are two ways of deciding when winter begins and ends. One is the
astronomical winter and the other meteorological.
The day in our calendar that marks the first day of winter refers to the astronomical seasons, which are a result of the
Earth's axis and orbit around the Sun. Check back to Space Week to find out more on this subject!
This year, astronomical winter begins on 21 December 2020 and ends on 20 March 2021.
The meteorological winter begins on 1 December and ends on the last day of February
Have you heard of the winter solstice? This is the day of the year we have the least sunlight - the shortest day of the year!
But the great news is after the 21 December we are heading towards spring!
Watch this BBC video to find out more.
Winter Fun - Frozen Bubbles!
It was very cold and frosty recent, although it is warmer this week it will be cold again soon.
When the frost and snow does come back, why not have a go at making frozen bubbles.
This seems like a simple activity, but you need to have lots and lots of patience.
You may have some bubble mix in the house somewhere - most supermarkets have it in stock - or you could make your own.
500ml of water
60ml of washing up liquid
30ml of glycerin
Mix it all together and then use a straw or a pipe cleaner or a bit of wire to make a bubble wand.
Watch this video on how to make frozen bubbles.
Check out our attempts - we discovered that:
it needs to be a really still day - no wind
The outside temperature needs to be below zero
We tried on various surfaces but the best was on a frozen bucket of water and a wooden surface that had snow and ice on it.
Early morning was best before the sun comes up (although the one taken in the afternoon sun was very pretty!
You will need to blow a lot of bubbles before you get a few to stay on the surface and freeze
The bubble will probably slowly deflate rather than burst once it starts to freeze.
Send us your bubble photos or even just a lovely winter photo to enter our competition.
During the winter months, we must keep feeding the birds in our gardens and even in the parks.
There are not many seeds and berries around for them and very few insects as they are hiding from the cold, wet weather in the insect hotels we made in the summer.
Why not make some pine cone bird feeders for your garden or window sill.
Watch the video to see how to make your own.
Did you have a real Christmas tree this year? Is it still lying in the garden?
We got this great idea from a friend of DSC.
Lean your tree - with no baubles of course - against the shed or fence or tie it to the washing pole and then hang fruit and berries and fat balls on it. The birds will love having some protection from the evergreen branches.
Which birds are you seeing in your garden at the moment?
You must remember to check the water in your birdbath. The little birds will not be using it to bath, but they
will need it for drinking, so check it each day to make sure it is clean and not frozen over. Also remember to wash and dry your feeders so they are nice a clean for the birds.
The DSC team has been watching the birds in their home area and have seen goldfinches and robins and blackbirds.What are you seeing?
Here are the most common ones - check to see if you can spot any when you are out for a walk.
Why not check around and see if you see anything a little different that might be here just for Winter.
One of our team walks along a riverbank and often sees a heron doing a bit of fishing and some little dippers. They are fun to watch as they dip in and out of the water.
A great thing to do is to take part in the Big Garden Watch.
We at DSC are very interested in nature and conservation in Scotland.
But what does conservation mean?
We looked it up in the dictionary, and it says,
the act of conserving; prevention of injury, decay, waste, or loss; preservation: conservation of wildlife;
conservation of human rights. official supervision of rivers, forests, and other natural resources to
preserve and protect them through prudent management. A district, river, forest, etc., under such supervision.
The careful utilization of a natural resource to prevent depletion. The restoration and preservation of works of art.
Goodness, that’s a big list to be thinking about!
So what can we do in our homes and everyday lives?
Turn off the taps when cleaning your teeth
Switch off lights and electronic bits and pieces
Walk or cycle rather than use the car for short journeys
Reduce your plastic usage and recycle whenever you can
Avoiding products with Palm Oil that is not sustainable as an ingredient
About nature and conservation, the woodland trust says,
Nature conservation means protecting our environment and the wildlife that lives in it. It includes looking after biodiversity and the health of the planet.
There are lots of simple ways that you can get involved in conservation and start helping the areas and species under threat. All the little tiny things we each do can add up to make a big difference.
Here are some great ideas to get you started from Nature Scot - www.nature.scot
There are so many exciting things happening in Scotland around biodiversity and conservation - have a look here and see what you can find out?
One we are very interested in is the reintroduction of Beavers to Scotland.
Beavers are adorable and seem very busy all the time, and until recently they had not been seen in the UK for many hundreds of
years when they were released in a controlled manner at Knapdale in Argyle on the West of Scotland in 2009.
Not everyone is happy about that though as some have moved near to farmland and are building their dams
and homes - called lodges - and causing some flooding in farmers fields.
When they are left to live in an area with not so much agricultural land, they can provide all sorts of habitats
for many other plants and animals. The work they do can be fantastic for biodiversity in an area.
How much wood do you think the wee beavers need to stop the water flowing so fast?
The woodpile is not just a dam they are using it as a sort of cold food store to keep the small tasty branches to eat during winter.
Draw a picture of a beaver, but first you will need to find out about what their tails are made of and what shape their feet are. Do you think they have thick fur or thin?
What about their teeth - could you bite through a tree and use it to build a dam. How strong must they be to be able to move some of the logs!
Do lots of research before you start your drawing!