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The Daily Bucket is a place to catch your casual observations of the natural world and turn them into a valuable resource. Whether it's the first flowers of spring or that odd bug in your basement, don't be afraid to toss your thoughts into the bucket. Check here for a more complete description.

The earthquake in Japan is a high order catastrophe. The race to restore cooling functions to the damaged reactor is a nail biter. All of it generates (well deserved) anxiety.

You know what might help? First, give some money to the Red Cross to help with relief in this emergency. Second, step outside. Spring approaches, snow is either gone or melting, and face it -- you need some fresh air.

So go get it. And while you're out there, take a look around. Are there birds you haven't seen over the winter? Maybe some bushes or flowers that sneakily bloomed while you weren't looking? What about down at your feet, are their ants cleaning out and shaping up the nest, getting ready for a summer of perpetual activity?

Go check it out, then report back.

Warm and sunny here this morning, and the approach of spring has lots of critters excited. American toads seem to have taken over most of the croaking duties up at the small pond, and they're not letting a little thing like daylight diminish their volume. Likewise, Barred Owls were making their "who cooks for you?" call and response in the woods this morning. Either they're at the end of a long night, or they're getting a really early start on tonight.

Still not one flower in my garden. However, the new greenhouse has arrived in all it's multipackage, holy cow that's a lot of parts, glory. This is a Rion model, replacing the sad little aluminum framed thing that's wilting in the side yard. On the morning stroll, I had some serious thoughts about relocating the greenhouse into a spot that will be very shady in a few weeks. The thing is, a month from now the greenhouse will be much less important. It's really that January - March timeframe when it gets put to use, and over that period I could park it square in the woods without missing a lot of sun.

What do you think, people who actually garden regularly? Does a greenhouse in the trees make any sense?  

While you're thinking about it, mark March 26 on your calendar. That's just two Saturdays from now, and it's the day when I'm proposing the first Daily Kos Day Hike.

Today's observations come from these locations

Share your own observations in comments, and I'll add a marker to the map. Please give a city and state (as close as you feel comfortable in providing). Green pins for observations mostly about plants, brown for animals, and blue for weather or other inorganic items. The letter at the center of each pin will be the first letter of the user who provides the data.

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