Crocuses in snow is a phenophase of spring’s arrival
Friday is the best day on public radio in my humble opinion. We get Diane Rehm’s weekly wrap-up in national and international news, and we get Science Friday. This last Friday didn’t disappoint: one topic was back-yard climatology.
I thought of this show on Tuesday when, while on trip to the greenhouse for dinner’s onions and carrots, I heard the year’s first frogs. This is neither early nor late as far as my limited experience tells me, and I did feel a twinge for them because of course the daily high on Wednesday was 25 chilly degrees.
“Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate. The word is derived from the Greek phainomai (φαινομαι)- to appear, come into view, and indicates that phenology has been principally concerned with the dates of first occurrence of biological events in their annual cycle,” according to Wikipedia.
Some of you, I’m sure, are such great record-keepers that the emergence of the first forsythia blooms or the arrival of the first robin has made it into your garden notes. Well! You want to help figure out the effects of global warming on these events, at least as it relates to your piece of the planet? You can sign up and actually make these recordings known. Check out the USA National Phenology Network: they’re looking for volunteers to record just these very same observations.