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.
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.
Create A Seasonal Round: First Steps
The first steps are to identify those plants and animals of your local area which traditionally fed, clothed and housed humans.
Not to overwhelm ourselves, we can limit how many plants we study. If you combine creating a seasonal round with phenology, your observations may be valuable to citizen science projects like Project BudBurst or the National Phenology Network.
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.
Create A Seasonal Round: 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 farmers markets
- seasonal celebrations
- moon phases
- solstices, equinoxes, cross-quarter days
- annual appearances of comets
- seasonal star cycle
- blossoming of flowers
- the appearance of insects and pollinators
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, stars, and human celebrations.
A seasonal round is a fun and fascinating way to live with the natural rhythms of the land.
More Information of Seasonal Foods
Seasonal Rounds: Charting Living in Harmony with the Land
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…
Please do let me know how you do.
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.
I hope to give naturalists and nature journal keepers new and useful tools to share with others.