Cymraeg

What interesting weather we’ve been having Bulb Buddies! A number of you commented on how warm December was, and you were right! Looking through our results from 2011 to 2016, we can see that December 2016 was the second warmest since the project began. Only December 2015 had higher temperatures! This month also saw the lowest rainfall since the project began, and average sunlight hours.

Why not work out your average readings for November and December and compare them to the average readings shown in the table?  

I have received a number of reports that shoots have begun to appear in your pots! Do you think that Crocus or Daffodils will appear first? Why not look through last year’s report and compare the average flowering dates for Crocus and Daffodils to help you decide which will flower first!

My bulbs have begun to grow too, I’ve attached photos of them to the right. Please share your photos with me so that I can post them in my next Blog.

 

Your comments:

 

A number of you have commented on how warm December and the first week of January were:

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Pawb allan yn chwarae yn y cae drwy'r wythnos gan ei bod yn braf iawn ac awyr glir bob dydd. Pawb yn rhyfeddu wrth weld mynyddoedd Eryri i gyd efom copaon clir drwy'r wythnos. Tywydd anhygoel o braf.

Athro’r Ardd: Rwy’n falch i glywed oedd gen ti dywydd braf. Mae’n siŵr oedd o’n rhyfedd weld y mynyddoedd heb eira ym fis Rhagfur. O be rwy’n dallt, bydd yr eira yn ôl wythnos yma!

Auchenlodment Primary School: What a warm week for December!

Lawhead School: We had very little rain this week and it was quite sunny too.

Hudson Road Primary School: Lots of warm days but quite windy!

Trellech Primary School: It was a lot warmer this week compared to last week. We can’t wait for our bulbs to grow.

Broad Haven Primary School: This week has been warmer and we have had fog. We break up next week.

Darran Park Primary: The temperature has risen over the week. Not much rainfall this week, quite a dry week.

Boston West Academy: There was barely any rain this week and all of the other weeks did have a lot of rainfall. The temperatures are very weird because they were on and off.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, this week it has been warm, amazing because it is getting closer to Christmas. Some of the bulbs have started to pop up. Merry Christmas from Stanford!

YGG Tonyrefail: It was quite a warm week for December.

Severn Primary: We are surprised the plants are beginning to come up because it was so cold last week. It was much, much warmer this week. We had misty rain which didn't seem to end up in the collecting jar.

St Robert's R.C Primary School: Not too cold for the start of the year.

 

Many of you have written to let me know that your plants have started to grow! Fantastic news Bulb Buddies!

Beulah School: Mae rhai o'n bylbiau wedi dechrau tyfu.

Pirnmill Primary School: 20th December 2016. We noticed that three of the daffodils planted in the open ground had shoots poking through the soil. Is this too early?

Professor Plant: Hi Pirnmill Primary. A few schools have reported that their flowers have begun to bud! Mine have just poked their heads out of the soil! They began to appear about this time last year, but this is earlier than preceding years. Well done for looking after them so well!

Auchenlodment Primary School: We started back at school on Thursday. Some of our bulbs have started to sprout, we are all very excited!

Broad Haven Primary School: A frosty start to the week on Tuesday. On Friday it rained all day. Green shoots are appearing.

 

Thank you for all the updates and feedback on the project:

St Paul's C.I.W. Primary: Hello Pr.plant we have had a good week one girl who is a rainfall child said she is having a good time but she is sad that after Christmas she is not going to be a rainfall child so can you stop Mr. Wilson from trying to do that thank you for all your help from K and A.

Professor Plant: Hi K and A. I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the project! Please thank the rainfall child for all her hard work. Hopefully she will have another role taking readings or logging data! If she is really enjoying the project she could always take her own readings at home. The Met Office have a website where people can share readings they’ve taken: http://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/ Maybe Mr. Wilson would be able to help her the first few times she enters data!

Coppull Parish Primary School: We had a mini disaster this week. The folder with results in was left out overnight in the rain. Although every page was completely sodden, and the file had to be binned. The relevant information was rescued by a group of y5 children including R, M and L.

Professor Plant: Hi Coppull Parish, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had trouble! I’m glad you managed to rescue your readings, well done all! The term planner and other resources are all available on the website, so you can print out new copies if these were badly damaged: https://museum.wales/spring-bulbs/

Tonyrefail Primary School: We lost the rain gage for Monday Tuesday Wednesday sorry

Professor Plant: Not to worry Tonyrefail Primary, I’m glad it turned up! Thank you for letting me know.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello,Did you have a nice Christmas? Monday, Tuesday we were all off school so that’s why it said no record. It has been really icy in the mornings. Bye Bye.

Professor Plant: Hi Stanford in the Vale Primary. I had a lovely Christmas thank you, did you? Thank you for letting me know why there were missing readings. Keep up the good work!

 

Thank you for all the updates on the weather where you are:

Ysgol Pentrefoelas: Cawsom law mawr iawn Dydd Iau a dydd Gwener. Dymsa'r tro cyntaf inni fethu mynd ALLAN i chwarae y tymor yma!

Garstang St. Thomas' CE Primary School: It was cold and rainy on Tuesday and we stayed in at playtime.

Carnbroe Primary School: Monday was freezing and the ground was solid but the other days were mild and the soil in our plant pots was moist. No sign of our plants blooming.

Darran Park Primary: This week there was quite a lot of rain.

St Paul's C.I.W. Primary:  Hello pr.plant rainfall on Monday we put was 50 but 60 is the real number bi.

Barmston Village Primary School: We have had a big change in temperature this week and got very wet on Thursday!

Arkholme CE Primary School: It has been cold and a bit wet apart from Tuesday. Hopefully it will snow soon .we have enjoyed it.

 

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

Hi Bulb Buddies,

Today is the last day for collecting weather data before Christmas! Most schools will finish for the holidays on the 16th of December, and will start back on the 3rd or 4th of January. The next week for weather records is 2nd-6th January. When entering data to the website please enter 'no record' for the dates that you weren't in school to take readings.

There's no need to take your pots home with you over Christmas. So long as they are in a safe place in the school yard where they are unlikely to get blown over by the wind, they will be fine. The bulbs are insulated by the soil and can withstand the winter weather.

The weather has been extremely mild again this winter, and it will be interesting to see what the effects of this are on our plants! November 2016 saw lower temperatures and less rain than last year, but far more sunshine! In November 2015 the UK had 35.6 hours of sunshine, this year we had 74.6 hours, that’s more than double! Although temperatures were lower, it was still warm for the time of year. And although it was dryer, there was still a substantial amount of rain. These are good conditions for our bulbs, and if this pattern continues, we may see our flowers bloom earlier than last year!

Have a lovely break Bulb Buddies.

Happy Christmas from

Professor Plant & Baby Bulb

 

 

Hello Bulb Buddies,

A big thank you to all the schools that sent in their weather data last week. Especially to those who left comments! Some of the comments last week noted that the weather has been getting steadily colder, and that temperatures increase throughout the day. For this reason I thought it would be interesting to talk a bit about the seasons!

There are four seasons in the year. Winter, spring, summer and autumn. We are in winter, which is the coldest season.

Spring starts around 20th March (the Spring Equinox), this is when most flowers bloom, the weather gets steadily warmer, and many animals have their young. Lambs in the fields are a good sign that spring has arrived!

The summer comes in full force from June to September, and this is when we have the warmest weather and the longest daylight hours. Luckily for you, it’s also when you get your longest school holidays!

Autumn takes hold from late September, and this is when the days become shorter and the weather begins to get colder! This is when the leaves change colour from green to oranges, reds and browns and fall from the trees. And when animals like squirrels hoard food for the long winter ahead. Winter arrives again in December, and stays until mid-March.

Do you know why we get seasons? What causes the weather to change so dramatically throughout the year? Well, it’s because the Earth is turning around the Sun at an angle. The picture below shows the earth in relation to the sun. The earth turns (rotates) on its axis (imagine a line joining the North and South poles) as it moves around (orbits) the Sun.

It takes the Earth 365 days to travel once around the sun. The length of a planets year is the time it takes for it to complete one orbit of its star. So a year on Earth is measured as the passing of 365 days. 

The picture above shows the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. The axis is shown by the white line at the North and South poles. You can see that the axis (white line) is at a different angle to the Earth’s orbit (shown by the white arrows). This means that each day we are at a slightly different angle to the Sun than we were the day before. This is what causes a difference in the number of daylight hours we get. Fewer daylight hours (winter) means less light and heat, making this time of the year colder. More daylight hours (summer) means more light and heat, which makes it warmer!

Many of you have noticed that temperature increases throughout the morning, and decreases in the late afternoon. This is because the heat from the sun gradually warms our surroundings throughout the day. Materials and living things absorb this energy, and become warmer themselves, heating the air around them. The sun is at its highest point around noon, so this is when the earth gets the most light and heat energy from the sun. In the afternoon the heat and light from the sun gradually decreases. However, the materials and living things around you will continue to radiate heat, gradually cooling throughout the afternoon and evening. This is why the temperature is often higher between 2-3pm than it is at midday. This is also why temperatures are lower in winter than they are in summer, because the days are shorter and as such our surroundings receive less heat and light energy from the sun.  

The UK is in what is known as the ‘North hemisphere’, this means we are closer to the North Pole than the South Pole. Notice that in the picture the North pole (the white line pointing up) is leaning towards the Sun in summer and away from the sun in winter. This angle is what causes the change in daylight hours as the Earth orbits the sun over the course of the year.

Other countries experience the changes in daylight hours at different times of the year. In Australia it is summer in December! And in Iceland they have continuous sunlight for days in a row in the summer and darkness for as long in the winter! Imagine having sunlight at midnight!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

 

Your comments:

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, This week it has been very frosty and cold. In the mornings it has been frosty but got warmer at lunch times.

Ysgol Bro Ogwr: Mae'r tymheredd yn newid yn y prynhawn.

Hudson Road Primary School: It has been quite warm during the afternoons this week with bright sunshine.

Ysgol Glanyfferi: The temperature is getting colder as it's getting further into the winter.

Hudson Road Primary School: It has been really cold towards the end of the week, with very frosty mornings but it has warmed up through the day.

Betws Primary School: An extremely wet start to the week! The temperature is beginning to dip and winter is most certainly coming...

Stane Primary School: It's getting colder and colder every day! Get your hat, scarf and gloves on. Professor Plant: Great advice Stane Primary, make sure you stay warm!

Arkholme CE Primary School: We have had some frosty nights and most of the leaves have fallen off the trees. No change what so ever with the bulbs. Have a good day.

Broad Haven Primary School: Everything was frozen every morning this week. Frost and ice. The birds are hungry they are eating the sunflower seeds of the sunflowers we grew in the summer.

Hudson Road Primary School: Friday was a lovely warm afternoon and we did lots of garden maintenance getting ready for the winter and filled our bird feeders so they will have food in the cold winter days. Professor Plant: That’s lovely Hudson Road Primary. Well done for looking after wildlife in your garden.

Darran Park Primary: Despite the sunny weather, the temperature has been quite cold but not freezing Also the temperature has been quite consistent but it dropped a little bit on Friday. As well, to start the week off is has been raining, nevertheless, the rest of the week has been dry.

Carnbroe Primary School: The weather was dry but cold and damp this week. Although it didn't rain the soil in our plant pots was damp. Professor Plant: Hi Carnbroe Primary, well done for checking whether your plants needed watering. It’s likely that dew or frost has been forming on top of the soil this will be why the soil is damp even though it hasn’t rained.  

Bacup Thorn Primary School: We had a lot of snow Thursday night into Friday. Heavy snow throughout Friday making a wet but enjoyable time at break. We had some very large snow flakes falling.

Bacup Thorn Primary School: A cold start to the week, ending with an extremely wet day!

Darran Park Primary: The temperature has dropped and the rainfall has raised.

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: No rain in the week. Hotter on Monday than Thursday.

Auchenlodment Primary School: There is no record for Wednesday as we were off school for St Andrew's Day. Professor Plant: Hi Auchenlodment Primary, thank you for letting me know. A number of other schools let me know that it was St Andrew’s day as well.

Ysgol Pennant: Diolch am y Worm World! Dwin edrych ymlaen am y bylbiau i agor. Diolch am y bylbiau dwin hoffi cadw golwg ar y potiau. Professor Plant: Helo Ysgol Pennant, diolch am eich gwaith called ac am anfon lluniau! Cadwch ati gyda'r gwaith caled Gyfeillion y Gwanwyn!

Rougemont Junior School: Flowers are starting to sprout. Professor Plant: Wow Rougemont, that’s great news! A few other schools have said that their plants are sprouting, it’s earlier than last year so it will be interesting to compare the results!

 

Thank you for sharing your comments when entering weather data to the National Museum Website website. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

 

Your Comments:

Ysgol Y Wern: Roedd Dydd Llun yn stormus a wyntog iawn.

YGG Tonyrefail: Roedd e yn wythnos gwlyb iawn.

Beulah School: Roedd llawer o law ar dydd Llun!

Rougemont Junior School: Heavy rain and sleet on Friday, hope our bulbs will enjoy a cold shower.

Rougemont Junior School: Our baby bulbs are safe and sound in their pots and we have them on display.

Trellech Primary School: We had lots of rain at the weekend so the rain fall on Monday was high. We can’t wait for our flowers to start growing.

St Paul's C.I.W. Primary: Hello pr.plant. We are proud of our work. Professor Plant: And so you should be St Paul’s, keep it up Bulb Buddies!

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: Really cold on Monday. A lot of Rain on Monday too. No Rain on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Ysgol Glanyfferi: Variety of temperatures throughout the week.(R, K and A).

Alston Lane Catholic Primary School: Thursday 17th November - the rainfall was 25mm but I could not upload this as only 20 and 30 were options on the databank. Professor Plant: Hi Alston Lane, when entering the reading please round the figure to the nearest 10mm. So you were right to enter 30mm! But a reading of 24mm would be entered as 20mm on the website. Ellel St John's CE Primary School had a similar problem: ‘Lots of heavy rain on Monday 14th November, we actually measured 31mm of rain but it wasn't available on the drop down menu.’ Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Ysgol Y Wern: Roedd hi'n oer iawn ar Ddydd Gwnener i gymharu ar ddechrau'r wythnos

Lawhead School: The plants were atrociously frozen. They were so frozen that when I tipped the pot out, nothing fell out of it. - J K and T L. Professor Plant: Wow, that is frozen! Don’t worry about your bulbs though, the soil will be insulating them against the cold!

Carnbroe Primary School: The weather has been very frosty and icy all week. On Thursday our class went out to check on the plants. The soil in our pots was frozen but have decided that our bulbs will still flower. Professor Plant: Well done for checking on your plants! I’m sure that your plants will still flower too. Lawhead Primary reported the same: Lawhead School: The week got colder towards the end. The soil in our pots is frozen solid!

Auchenlodment Primary School: After a wet and mild weekend it's been a very cold week. The plant pots have been covered with frost. Professor Plant: A few schools have noticed frost in their pots! I’m sure your bulbs are nice and warm buried in the soil. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.

Rougemont Junior School: Not sprouting yet but a few popping out. Professor Plant: Oh dear Rougemont, I hope they are sprouting! If it’s not a green shoot that you can see, but the brown top of the bulb, then you’ll need to put a few more handfuls of soil on top of them!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, we have noticed that some of the bulbs have started to pop up. Professor Plant: Hi Stanford in the Vale, do you mean that shoots have begun to appear? If so that’s great news!

Arkholme CE Primary School: It has been very wet as you can see in the data. It has been very cold, we have had our first frost of the winter. On three days of the week when we were collecting the weather data it was raining! Thank you. Professor Plant: Hi Arkholme CE Primary. Thank you for collecting the weather data even though it was raining. Be careful if the school yard is frosty! Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Llanharan Primary School: 7th - 11th November and 14th - 18th November results have been mixed up - is there any way they could be swapped please? Sorry! Professor Plant: Hi Llanharan Primary,  thank you for letting me know the data was mixed up. Not to worry, I have swaped these dates for you. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies|!

Auchenlodment Primary School: It was dry on Monday but there was a lot of rain over the weekend which was the 5mm recorded on Monday. We have felt the temperature drop over the week, it's getting very cold! Professor Plant: Well done for observing the weather over the weekend even though you are not taking readings on these days. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

St Robert's R.C Primary School: We had a busy week this week and we went on a trip to Cardiff Museum on Friday! Professor Plant: Hi St Robert’s Primary. Wow, I hope you enjoyed your trip!

Broad Haven Primary School: What a week we have had gales-rain-sleet-hail-sun-rainbows. The sea has been very rough with huge waves. Professor Plant: Wow Broad Haven Primary, you really have had a mixed week in terms of weather. It’s interesting to see the effect a strong wind can have on the sea!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: The weather has turned really cold today.
Been training people to do this experiment during the week. From R xxx Professor Plant: Hi R, thank you for training others to take weather readings, even in the cold! Keep up the good work Bulb Buddy!

St Clare's Catholic Primary School: A very chilly and wet week. We even have some snow today! Professor Plant: I hope you enjoy the snow St Clare’s Catholic Primary! Make sure you wrap up warm!

Ysgol Rhostyllen: We're really enjoying it! Professor Plant: Hi Ysgol Rhostyllen, I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the project. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Carnbroe Primary School: It was so cold on Wednesday that we decided to check our plants to make sure they were alright, they looked ok. It rained really heavily all day Thursday and the ground was very wet and muddy. Professor Plant: Hi Carnbroe Primary, well done for checking on your bulbs! The soil will be keeping the bulbs insulated against the cold. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.   

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: A lot of rain on Wednesday compared to Thursday and Friday.
It was colder on Wednesday compered to Tuesday. Professor Plant: Hi Ysgol Rhys Pritchard, well done for comparing the results throughout the week. You might find it interesting to use the maps on the Spring Bulbs website to compare your results to those from other schools!

Coppull Parish Primary School: Again the children made all the recordings with no supervision. Well done. Professor Plant: Fantastic work Coppull Primary!

Chorley St James Primary School: It was a very wet week in Chorley! The temperature stayed below 13 degrees. Professor Plant: Hi Chorley Primary, fantastic work! Why not use the graphs on the Spring Bulbs website to compare your results to those of other schools? Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

 

This week is Chemistry Week and our Preventive Conservation team got involved. Two local high schools (St Teilo’s Church in Wales High School and Cardiff High School) were invited to participate in a workshop with live demonstrations and hands-on activities.

We organized the workshop in a collection store and one of our analytical laboratories at National Museum Cardiff. Neither space is laid out for large numbers of people and it’s always a bit of a squash. But once we had squeezed the last of the year 12 and 13 students into each room and closed the doors, there was no escaping the exciting world of analytical chemistry.

The students learned about Wales’s largest and most important mineral collection, the challenges of caring for it, and some of the analytical tools that help us: X-Ray diffraction (XRD), gas detection tubes, infrared spectroscopy (IR) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). The XRD is part of the National Museum's own analytical facilities, operated by Tom Cotterell and Amanda Valentine-Baars in the Mineralogy/Petrology section. The other two technologies are covered by the curriculum and the students enjoyed the opportunity to prepare real samples, analyse them and interpret the results. To them, this made the subject a lot more real than just learning about them from books. It was also important that the analyses were undertaken not simply as a method per se, but in the context of answering genuine research questions at the museum.

What does chemistry have to do with the care of collections? We undertake our own research on objects and specimens in the collections, and we collaborate with researchers at universities. In addition, the act of preserving our common heritage often throws up problems, as objects degrade and conservators need to work out why, and how to stop the degradation.

Often we cannot do this on our own, in which case we work with partners to investigate, for example, the corrosivity potential of indoor pollutants and their effect on mineral specimens in storage at National Museum Cardiff. These partners include Cardiff University’s Schools of ChemistryEngineering and History, Archaeology and Religion (Conservation Department).

One of these collaborations sparked yesterday’s schools engagement project, run in conjunction with the museum's Conservation and Natural Sciences departments and kindly supported and funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry (South East Wales Section). The Royal Society of Chemistry provided an entire bench full of portable analytical equipment for the day, which the society's Education Coordinator, Liam Thomas, set up in the Mineral Store. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the project, additional support came from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Find out more about care of collections at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales here.