Many of us are especially aware of the natural world come spring, when new things show up every day. It’s apt, then, that the word “phenology” comes from the Greek word phaino, meaning to show or appear. Last week, my friend Rachel and I noticed little pink and yellow cones adorning the boughs of the pine trees. I reached out and was taken by surprise by the appearance of pollen!
In conjunction with Open Field, I’ll be posting a series of reports that examine Open Field and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden through the lens of phenology. The lens of what now? Phenology refers to recurring life cycle stages, such as leafing and flowering, emergence of insects, and migration of birds. As an amateur naturalist and the Open Field Phenologist-in-Residence, it’s my privilege to observe, document, and share the sequence of natural events as it unfolds on the Walker campus.
If you’re interested in more local phenological phenomena, visit openphenology.blogspot.com. Or to learn more about the science of phenology, check out the National Phenology Network and the Minnesota Phenology Network.