As spring nears, it's about time to get in touch with nature

Special to The Bluffton PacketMarch 8, 2012 

This time of year is the perfect time to get involved with Mother Nature. Each year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology monitors about 30 nesting birds via webcam all across the country. You, too, can watch any time at

This is a marvelous way to get an intimate, up-close peek at birds' nests and the various activities performed. You will be able to see bluebirds, chimney swifts, owls and many more feathered species. It's a great way to introduce children to the wonder of rarely seen parts of nature.

You can sign up to be a participant in NestWatch. This project is one in which volunteers collect information to help ornithologists learn more about nesting birds. Everyone, no matter what age, is invited to participate. There is a code of conduct one must adhere to and a short quiz before becoming a certified nest monitor. Once you become certified, you must find an active nest that is easy to see without being disturbed. You'll record what you see online and then check the nest every several days. Everything you need to get started is at Hurry -- an egg is waiting to be hatched right now.

  • This is a good time of year to start a tropical garden. Several large pots and a bit of elbow grease are all you need. You'll need good sunlight, the right potting soil and two or three Meyer lemon plants. These are the easiest to grow and produce large, tasty lemons. I think using pots is better than putting them in the ground because they can be moved around. The trees grow to be 3-5 feet and make you look like you know just what you are doing. Take two or three of your fruits as a hostess gift and you've made someone's day. Meyer lemon plants can be found at local nurseries and at the Farmers Market of Bluffton, which will be open weekly after March 8.

  • I hope you have seen "The Artist." It is a charming movie. Jean Dujardin is wonderful and deserved the Academy Award. "Midnight in Paris" and "The Artist" would make great girls'-night-out fare. If a friend has an inkling to invite you and some friends for an evening of wine and fun movie-watching, c'est tres bon! You'll love it if you have already seen them -- they are both worth watching again.

  • If you are watching "Survivor: One World" on CBS, there is one beautiful blonde competing for the title of "Sole Survivor" that might look familiar. Chelsea Meissner grew up in Bluffton and now lives in Charleston, where she is a medical sales rep. Chelsea's mama DeAnna still lives here and is very proud of her daughter. Chelsea is an accomplished golfer and equestrian -- two activities that might help in her quest for the big jackpot. It is riveting show to watch, so don't miss it. It airs Wednesday nights.

  • One little snippet I wanted to add is about the color tangerine tango -- the color of the year. Michelle Williams certainly did the color proud at the Academy Awards the other night. I thought she looked so wonderful in her lovely dress. She is always on my best-dressed list and whoever helped choose her dress made the red carpet shout out "Wow!"
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