“Phenology” happens once a week, when students find a spot anywhere on Chewonki Neck to sit for an hour. Each student works on their phenology project each week- it could be writing in their journal, taking pictures, drawing, meditating, or just observing- and then compiles it all into one final journal or reflection at the end of the semester. Phenology means the study of change in the natural world, and that is what we are doing as we observe our spots as they transition from
winter to spring to summer.
My phenology spot is where burbling brook meets salt marsh, where dense forest meets grassy bank. As I arrive, I often hear red squirrels chattering angrily at me, or maybe they are simply saying hello.Since I first visited my spot, most of the three feet of snow that was there three weeks ago has melted and revealed the soggy marsh grasses beneath. Water is everywhere, seeping out of the earth and trickling down into the stream, which then flows into the salt marsh. There is no green yet, but it will be coming soon.
Today, there was a downy woodpecker working over a fallen log, tapping away at insects I couldn’t find after closer examination. I took several pictures before he flew off, but twenty minutes later he ventured back to the same tree and began tapping again. Phenology is a wonderful time to slow down and notice the sounds of the forest and rejuvenate one’s self for another week packed with Chewonki excitement.
New Boston, NH