a great day to practise phenology…


23/08/2011 by Sarah Ritchie

Hawthorn bud photo by Derek Lilly

The buds are coming! The buds are coming! It’s true. During my daily walk this morning I saw the first buds of spring. A local oak tree was bursting with new bud growth, and there were even a couple of delicate new leaves pushing through to greet our frosty world.

Did you know that the study of “phenology” is all about tracking the “first emergence” of the natural world? Such things as the date of emergence of leaves and flowers, the first flight of butterflies and the first appearance of migratory birds.

Think of how observant one would need to be to simply notice these changes, let alone make a systematic study of them! In our own, small way, we can be phenologists…if we slow down enough to drink in the world around us.

I find a lot of joy in the detail of the natural world. My morning’s bud discovery was more than just observing new growth on a tree; it was a signal of change. The promise of warmer days ahead. A sign of newness and hope. A reminder that our Creator orders the seasons for our good, and that spring always follows winter…warmth follows the chill…new life will spring forth from the dormant ground.

So have a look around you. Be inspired by the detail in the seasons. Let your inner phenologist shine!


One thought on “a great day to practise phenology…

  1. […] is the first official day of spring. As we talked about, a few days ago [here] there are signs of spring all around us. One of those signs is the appearance of the […]

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Sarah Ritchie
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Finalist, Estuary Art Awards 2011
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© Sarah Ritchie 2014

Please do not use copies of my original artwork for profit, however you are welcome to share my artwork images as much as you like!

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