A Phenology Wheel

Happy March! Hard to believe we’re already a week in and just two weeks from the start of spring. While I’ve enjoyed the snow this winter, I’m absolutely ready for spring! ( ⏎ Did you notice I turned off the snowfall on my homepage? I’m summoning warmer weather!) And to help me enjoy these days leading up to spring, I’ve decided to create a Phenology Wheel.

PHENOLOGY WHEEL: My circular nature journal for the month of March 2021.

The definition of phenology is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life. A Phenology Wheel is a circular journal or calendar that encourages a routine of Earth observation where you live. I’ve seen seasonal, monthly, and daily wheels—some super detailed and others just a quick sketch with notes. I opted for a daily wheel as I continue my promise to be more observant each and every day.

DAILY OBSERVATIONS: I take notes to remind me of what I saw and tried to draw!

My artwork is a bit rudimentary and my handwriting/notes a little messy, but it’s been a fun way to be both artistic and mindful. I’ll be curious to see how my drawings change throughout the month. I’m hoping I get a little better! Here are a few of the images I tried to capture:

MARCH 6th: Our security camera caught this little fellow resting on our front bushes early one morning.
MARCH 7th: This was a pretty little pinecone I spotted on my walk with Bella.
MARCH 7th: And this is Bella giving me the look that says, “Enough pictures. Let’s go, mom.”
MARCH 8th: Connor came home with a few purple Hyacinths for me to plant. I can’t wait until they bloom!

I’ll post my progress in another week or so. In the meantime, I hope my little project will spark your creativity. Let me know if you decide to create a Phenology Wheel and we can compare!

Until next time…

Tidbits of Wisdom, Woodland Adventures

Easy Miles

My miles with Bella have been a little low and slow these past two weeks. Over the last few months, I’ve been working toward a virtual 25k, which I ran last weekend. So the week leading up to those 15.6 miles was a low-mileage week, as was this week. And I have to say, I felt tired this week. I’ve been steadily adding miles (more than 160 miles of running and walking for the month of January) and I think it finally caught up to me. Bella was also a little off this week with some tummy trouble, so it was a good time to slow down a bit.

Today called for a 6-mile run but I opted for less. Bella and I joined a friend for a short hike on a new-to-me trail in Montgomery County—a portion of the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail. Part of what we hiked is also part of the Montgomery County trail system that encompasses those 100 miles of trails I spoke of in my last post (and that we plan to tick off throughout 2021!).

I LOVE MEANDERING: The Seneca Creek Greenway Trail follows Great Seneca Creek in Montgomery County.

We did a short out-and-back hike, but it was very pretty as it meandered along the Great Seneca Creek with lots of pretty photo opportunities.

PRETTY AS A PICTURE: The creek bed was gorgeous with the sun highlighting the varying colors.

Despite the number of cars near the trailhead, the side we hiked on was very quiet. The opposite side of the creek seemed to have more mountain bikes. From time to time we could hear them hootin’ and hollerin’.

SUNNY WARMTH: While the day was cool, the sun warmed us as we hiked along the quiet banks of the creek. The trails on the opposite side (in the woods to the left) were occupied by a number of mountain bikers.

I will admit that early on in the day I beat myself up for not getting my 6-mile run done. After all, it was on the calendar! But in the end, this easy, pretty hike was just what I needed. And it was a great opportunity to find a new trail (not too far from home) that I can return to for a run.

And following the theme of easy … I ended the day with a cocktail from my favorite—McClintock Distilling.

EASY MILES, EASY EVENING: One of my favorite cocktails is McClintock’s Gardner’s Gin with fresh lime juice and a splash of Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic Water. The perfect ending to a great day.

Until next time…