I recently attended the "19th annual conference on the Adirondacks," presented by the Adirondack Research Consortium, held in the beautiful town of Lake Placid New York. The Conference was a place to discuss, talk and present in the fields of entrepreneurship, sustainability and environment. This information provides the opportunity to transfer this new acquired knowledge to one's local area and create positive impacts through place based initiatives.
At the conference, many people spoke about recording the natural world through the seasons. This type of recording is referred to as phenology. The word phenology comes from the Greek word "phaino," to show or appear, and "logy," to study. To record and watch for trends in the natural world always citizen scientists to watch for climate and periodic biological phenomena's such as the peaking of the fall colors or the budding of trees.
Written observations of the natural world date back to 974 B.C. in China. Outstandingly, Japan has recorded the peak of cherry blooms for the past 1,200 years.
The changing climate and its effects to our local areas lack a detailed record. We lack the knowledge in knowing how our changing climate has affected the very landscape we all value and gather inspiration from. Therefore, as you watch out your windows and observe the natural world around you jot down yearly notes to things that you enjoy seeing year to year. Perhaps it's the first frost, rainfall, snowstorm, loon sighting, monarchs, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, budding of the trees or any number of periodic occurrences. Keep a consistent record and share this knowledge with your local colleges, research institutions and/or non-profits.
I have kept a record of fresh snowfall on our landscape and thaw out each winter. This record of snowfall allows me to compare to prior years when peaks and lows of winter occur.
So I ask all of you. What records do you have? Or what would you like to begin?