Tag Archives: Phenology

TrackaTree Lesser celandines 2017 12 April

Are Wood anemones more sensitive plants than Lesser celandines?

In my last post I showed a chart of my TrackaTree phenology data for Wood anemones for 2014-2017. As the chart below shows, the timing of flowering of the Lesser celandines has varied less over these four years, with only 13 days between the earliest 2014 and the latest, 2016.  Continue reading

Trackatree Wood anemones chart 4 April 2017

The Wood anemones in Hillhouse wood vary markedly in when they flower, according to my TrackaTree data

I my last post I explained how I decided to chart the data I’ve been collecting for the TrackaTree phenology project, so see if it has any interesting stories to tell. I wanted to look at the variation within the same species between the years, and also to see there was any variation in the relative timing of the different species between years.  Continue reading

165 Bluebell cropped

In which I decide to see if the data I’ve been collecting for the TrackaTree phenology project actually tells us anything

The thought recently struck me that the data I’ve been collecting in Hillhouse Wood for the TrackaTree phenology project might enable me to look for any noteworthy differences between years. (Phenology is the study of how the timings of the seasons are affected by variations in weather.  Continue reading

Both budburst and the first Chiffchaff in Hillhouse wood – Spring in getting into its stride

Fieldwork for the Track a tree phenology project is now providing me with plenty of excuses to pay frequent visits to Hillhouse wood.  The warm weather over the last few days will drive bud burst, so I need to ensure that I don’t miss it.  On 10 March bud burst was visible on parts of my Hazel coppice, so I knew that this would progress rapidly.  Sure enough, my visit on 13 March revealed that buds were now bursting on all parts of the stool. Continue reading

An unanticipated downside of Citizen Science – it can make you hate nature (a little bit)

So this is my third year as a volunteer recorder for the most excellent and worthy TrackaTree phenology project, which uses volunteers to collect data to be analysed by scientists.  It seems to operate at just the right level of data collection demand to suit me – rigorous enough to be meaningful without being overbearing in what you have to record and submit.

But everything has a downside somewhere, and these are not always obvious at the start. Continue reading

I am the subject of a research project into citizen scientists. My mind has been probed!

I recently had the pleasure of a morning in the company of Dr. Ria Dunkley.  Ria is a post-doc researcher at the Sustainable Places Research Institute, part of Cardiff University.  Ria has noticed that a) ‘Citizen Science’ is all the rage and, b) no one actually knows why people volunteer to do it.  So she’s set up a research project to find out.  And I was one of her first victims – sorry, subjects. Continue reading

Spring is arrested in Hillhouse Wood

At the moment I’m in Hillhouse Wood just about every day.  This is for two reasons; firstly, I’m keeping an eye on progress with my four trees in the Track a Tree phenology project (I recommend it).  Secondly, I’m waiting for ‘Spring to start’.  Continue reading

My first Track a Tree field work visit – needless to say things did not go as expected. Part 2

In which we re-join our hero as he grapples with the challenge of selecting an Ash tree.

Eventually I had six more or less blemish free Ashe trees to roll the dice over. (Actually, bearing in mind that wood floors don’t really facilitate rolling dice, and that bringing the household games dice back covered in gunk would not go down well, I adopted an aerial spinning flick technique.) And the winner was …. number 4. Continue reading

My first Track a Tree field work visit – needless to say things did not go as expected. Part 1

One undoubted benefit of using social media is that you find out about more stuff than you otherwise would.  And so it was that a recent post on the Woodland Trust blog revealed a new citizen science project called Track a Tree.  It sounded right up my street, and so it was that yesterday I found myself delving into parts of Hillhouse Wood that I rarely disturb. This is how I got on. Continue reading