One of my favorite trees is the Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis). I love how the flowers emerge before the foliage, adding a pop of color to the landscape in early spring. Plus, they provide nectar and pollen for pollinating insects active early in the growing season. As I have gotten older and wiser, I enjoy and notice the outside world around me more. If I could redo anything, it would be to learn this lesson earlier in life. Maybe you already find yourself taking note of the world around you? Or perhaps you wish you took more time to enjoy the little things, like an Eastern redbud in bloom. Either way, there is an exciting opportunity for you and/or your family to participate in a Citizen Science project.
Earlier this month, a colleague shared information about the Redbud Phenology Project conducted by the USA National Phenology Network. (Phenology refers to recurring plant and animal life cycle stages. It is also the study of these recurring plant and animal life cycle stages, especially their timing and relationships with weather and climate.) I thought to myself that this would be the perfect way to observe nature with a purpose. So, why not share this project with others? Maybe you have always enjoyed watching plants wake up from winter? Maybe you have never thought about it but would like to start being more observant? Or, perhaps, you would like to make this a family project. If any of these things speak to your heart, consider joining Nature’s Notebook to participate in the Eastern Redbud Phenology Project.
For more information, see The Redbud Phenology Project.