Phenology Newsletter Series

  • Wisconsin has a saying: if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes. Things are always changing outside and there are new things happening every day. There is a way we track those changes--it is called Phenology.

    “Keeping records enhances the pleasure of the search and the chance of finding order and meaning in these events.”
    -Aldo Leopold, “A Phenological Record for Sauk and Dane Counties, Wisconsin” for Ecological Monographs (1947)

    Phenology is nature’s calendar; it depends not only on time, but also on weather and living things. Examples are: when tulips bloom, when robins migrate, and when leaves change color in the fall. Making observations in nature is a way to connect with your environmentStart a Phenology Journal at Home


    Grab a notebook. Pick a space, could be sitting outside or looking from one window. Make observations at least once a week. Don’t worry about getting the right names for items, you will learn as you go. To start a journal:
     write down the date, time, and weather conditions
     write down any animals you see
     write down any changes you see in plants