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 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.
- 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
- 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.