August isn’t quite over yet, but already hints of autumn are appearing on Conserve School campus. Observing changes in a landscape over time, such as plant flowerings and seedings, animal migrations, and seasonal weather patterns, is known as phenology. At Conserve School, students are encouraged to engage in phenological observations on campus in a number of ways. For example, this past year we’ve begun a schoolwide phenological record-keeping system in which anyone is welcome to document (with notes, pictures, and drawings) whatever natural phenomena they see on a particular day in our Conserve School phenology book. Students also scout out campus and find a science spot that they repeatedly return to throughout the semester to watch the progression and transitions of the seasons. This type of observation is a great way to develop a deeper connection to and sense of understanding of the land.
Currently, some of the maple trees on campus are already displaying some fine fall couture. Squirrels are busy collecting food for their winter caches. This is but a taste of what is to come – in late September Conserve School will celebrate the full bloom of Northwoods autumn colors with friends and neighbors at the Land O’ Lakes Colorama Weekend. Stay tuned and keep an eye out for the many seasonal changes that are underway!
~Graduate Fellow Amy Nosal