If you have been thinking about keeping a journal of the nature around you, here's a list of John and Harry's suggestions for things to look for when you are getting started. You can begin any time recording daily temperatures, snowfall amounts, birds at you feeders, and so on. This list includes things that are easy to spot and common benchmarks as the seasons change. A number of them are noticable as Winter gives way to Spring.
1. Right now, listen for the first fee-bee calls of the chickadees. They are beginning to think about setting up their territory for Spring.
2. Soon woodpeckers will begin hammering away their percussive beats, again an early sign of beginning to establish a Spring territory.
3. The emergence of the light green buds on the Trembling Aspen, usually in late April or early May, and two or three weeks before the Big-tooth Aspen.
4. The flowering of Cowslips, a.k.a Marsh Marigolds, in the ditches and bogs in early Spring.
5. The budding of Red Maples
6. The flowering of Wood Anemones
7. The arrival of Red Wing Blackbirds: easy to hear and easy to see.
8. The return of Redstarts, Yellow-Rumped, and Chestnut-sided Warblers
9. Ice-in or ice-out on area lakes: John has found Ice-in dates to be a more reliable benchmark; also keep track of the number of days your lake is covered with ice.
10. If you see a specific tree or plant everyday, us it as your personal measure of the changing seasons.
Dreaming Life Cereal
8 months ago