Phenology Wheel

Postcard of Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire, kindly sent in by Nicola & Mushko

The snowdrops on this beautiful postcard reminded me of Ike’s visit to Thornbridge Outdoors in the Peak District last winter, with Geography Cat’s Auntie Sally. And with the month turning to February tomorrow, it got us thinking about doing a phenology wheel this year:

Phenology is the study of seasonal natural phenomena, especially the cycles of climate and plant and animal life. The wheel is a way for Geography Cat to observe his observations of the changes taking place around him. If you search the internet for images of phenology wheels you’ll see a great variety, and there are many free templates you can use if you want to have a go too. We used this one and traced it free hand for an impurrfect look – that way the future impurrfections won’t stand out so glaringly!

Geography Cat looked for some artistic inspiration and found this fabulous piece of work by one of his followers and friends Jane Tomlinson:

Out in All Weathers by Jane Tomlinson

As you see, all the seasons are represented, but it is also very clearly rooted to a sense of the place it represents. Therefore, as we go through the rest of the year we’ll be updating this blog to show you the progress of our GC HQ 2021 phenology wheel. Don’t expect anything up to Jane’s standard though!

We’ve only drawn the outline so far, and we’re going to complete each month as and when we see our first signal of the changing times, starting with a snowdrop – but not until we see one. That way it’ll give us a little extra purpose to be more observant of natural changes. Then we need to decide what the next signal will be.

Things for you to do:

  • Decide if you want to play along
  • Draw out an outline and decide on your nature signal for February
  • See The Art of Jane Tomlinson for some inspiration
  • Keep your eyes peeled for your signal and up date your wheel each month
  • Share your wheels with the rest of global Geography Cat community if you like too!