Lucy Carter's blog

Spring cherry blossom

Wow, what lovely weather we've been having the past few days - and it's due to get warmer over the weekend.  If you're looking for an outdoor activity and can't wait for the OPAL Water Survey to start in two weeks time, how about giving the Natural History Museum's cherry tree survey a try? Cherry trees are so easy to spot at ths time of year as they are in full blossom. Find out more on the museum's website.

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OPAL on TV

Did anyone watch Museum of Life on BBC2 last night?  It's a documentary about the Natural History Museum that shows all the interesting things our scientists are up to. The programme featured the Wembury Bioblitz (a 24 hour wildlife survey) organised by me, my manager John and the Marine Biological Association last summer. You can read more about it if you scroll back through my earlier blog posts. John got all the limelight but there are lots of shots of me in the background too.  If you notice a young man yawning away - that's the OPAL web editor Chris

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Freezing frogs

Just a few moments ago I received an email from Pond Conservation, one of the groups that OPAL is working with to develop our Water Survey (which launches in May). The email was a report of their recent study into the reasons why a lot of frogs and fish may have died this winter due to ponds freezing over. This was the hardest winter for 30 years with some ponds staying frozen for several weeks at a time.

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Ooops, slight photo mishap!

Sorry to anyone who's looked at my blog in the last few days - I had a bit of a technical mishap. I accidentally deleted nearly all the photos I'd included in my blog posts, and completely failed to notice (despite looking at my blog several times) until our web editor drew it to my attention today!  What an idiot.  Well they're all back now except one which I'm struggling to find, but hopefully it'll be back up there soon.

Sorry about that!

Lucy

Battling on in spite of the snow...

How many of you have had a day off work or school because of the snow? Lots I bet. We also got a day off last Wednesday, but other than that have been battling on regardless!  Last Thursday to Saturday we held a stand at the Association for Science Education conference in Nottingham.  It was a bit of a struggle getting up there (about 6 hours on the train!), but we spread the word amongst lots of teachers about our new lesson plans that we've developed as part of the OPAL Taxonomy project - another aspect of my job at the museum.

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Writing competition

Here's a little coincidence for you - I was just on the Bat Conservation Trust Facebook page for a few minutes before watching Miss Potter onTV (a film about Beatrix Potter - anyone else watching it?!) and spotted they are running a Beatrix Potter writing competition.  Details below if anyone has time on their hands before they're back to school.  Closing date 31st December so get writing, and good luck!

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Happy Christmas from the Natural History Museum OPAL team!!

I woke up this morning to a lovely thick blanket of snow, and a pheasant strutting around the garden, so I thought I'd share this piccie with you.  He's still there now so is probbaly enjoying all the seed we've put out to feed the birds.

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Love your lichens

This is Willie Lott's House at the Field Studies Council's Flatford Mill centre.  I stayed there a few weeks ago when I went on an 'Identifying Lichens' course.  The FSC run loads of different courses, covering all areas of natural history as well as family activities and art courses. While I was there a course on botanical illustration was also being run. The courses are open to anyone and are really great fun.  Mine was a beginners course, and was pitched at just the right level.

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