Wild Wonders Celebrating Earth Day: Bud Buddy – Observing Nature


  • Flagging tape or bright colored string
  • Nature Journal or paper
  • Writing materials 

Before You Explore:

April is the first month that we see signs of spring emerge in Maine and a perfect time to adopt a Bud Buddy! Some tree buds turn into a leaf and some into a flower, what can you observe from the tree buds near you?

Connect with Nature:

  • Head outside with a journal or piece of paper, writing materials and your flagging tape.
  • Hunt for nearby tree that you can visit daily.
  • Once you find your tree, see if you see any signs of a bud or a place on the branch where it looks like a flower or leave may emerge.
  • Use your flagging tape to mark the bud on this tree (tie the tape close to the bud on the branch) so you can easily find it on your next visit. Say hello to your Bud Buddy!
  • Visit your bud daily and observe in your journal any changes. Ask yourself the questions below:
    • Do you notice the different parts of the bud?
    • Do you think this bud will be a leaf or a flower? 
    • How many days will it take the bud to completely open?
    • What has the weather been like? Do you think this has affected the bud’s opening? 
    • What is this plant? (Bring a field guide or use a digital identification app.)
    • What other animals are dependent on this plant? (Research and find out!)

Dive Deeper!

Citizen science projects are collaborations between citizens and the professional science community. Project BudBurst is a phenology project collecting data on when buds open in the spring. Join in here: https://budburst.org/