How to Create a Seasonal Round – Part 2

strawberries grown in my garden
strawberries grown in my garden

By constructing our own local seasonal rounds we tune into the rhythms of the land.

This year I will attempt to create a seasonal round. I suspect it will take more than one year to create. I am sure times will have to be adjusted and fine tuned.

The first steps are to identify those plants and animals of your local area which traditionally fed, clothed and housed humans.

A seasonal round can push us to search for and observe those plants and animals which were abundant and edible. Some plants and animals we will not be able to find. This would show us just how much our ecosystems have been altered. This knowledge can spur us to restore plants and animals that are uncommon.

Not to overwhelm ourselves, we can limited how many plants we study. If you combine creating a seasonal round with phenology, your observations maybe valuable to citizen science projects like Project BudBurst or the National Phenology Network.

Seasonal round on Coal River, West Virginia Source: Library of Congress American Memory collection
Seasonal round on Coal River, West Virginia Source: Library of Congress American Memory collection

Here is a blank seasonal-round-diagram to print out and fill in. Seasonal round, part 1 has links to examples of  ways in which seasonal rounds can be filled in.

Tips

  • Chose a plant or two from each season
  • Note when animals are most abundant (usually during migration and spawning times)
  • Note when foods are abundant or at the peak of flavor

What to Include

A seasonal round can include this kind of information.

  • fishing season (spawning of fish)
  • hunting season (migration of ducks, geese, etc.)
  • planting season of garden crops
  • gathering edible plants  (berries, nuts, mushrooms, fresh greens, roots, and herbs)
  • food storage and preservation (canning tomatoes, drying fruits, etc.)
  • gathering herbal medicines
  • gathering raw materials (baskets, weaving, etc.)
  • when seasonal foods are available in farmer’s markets
  • seasonal celebrations
  • moon phases
  • solstices, equinoxes, cross-quarter days
  • annual appearances of comets
  • seasonal star cycle
  • blossoming of flowers
  • appearance of insects and pollinators
Indigenous Concord grapes growing in my garden.
Indigenous Concord grapes growing in my garden.

Creating a seasonal round is a new and different project in nature journaling.  It combines following the seasons, phenology, learning the natural history of plants and animals, phases of the sun, moon and stars, and human celebrations.

A seasonal round is a fun and fascinating way to live with the natural rhythms of the land.

4 comments

  1. I can’t wait to get started. I have tried to be diligent with the NPN and phenology so I could report my observations, but let life and work get in the way. This will be another way to combine both and see what I see…it has been interesting in my garden since I have been adding more natives and replacing ornamentals…I’ll let you know how I do…

  2. What a terrific idea, Donna. I’ve never heard of a seasonal round, but love the concept. I can imagine teachers might want to adapt this for different ages of young people as a way to connect them to their local environment.

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