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
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
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
As keen readers of this blog, and my Mum, will know, for the last two years I have done field work for this project. This involves visiting some specific trees (four in my case) more or less weekly throughout the spring to record data about what is happening. ‘Happening’ stuff involves the stage of bud burst and leaf break, and the numbers of specific species of flower that are showing underneath the tree. By capturing this data at different sites in the UK, the project enables differences in the timing of ‘Spring’ to be rigorously identified across the country and between years. It ran for two years to support a PhD project at the University of Edinburgh, and I’ve been glad to hear that it is continuing for a third year, at least, even though Christine has gained her qualification. Continue reading
Each Spring the Friends of Hillhouse Wood organise two guided walks – one to look at the Bluebells, and a Dawn Chorus one. These are normally 2-3 weeks apart, to match each one to when its subjects are at their best. However this year things were different, and for the first time ever we ran both walks on the same weekend. Continue reading
Wood anemones are good indicators of ancient woodland and grassland as colonies spread very slowly (supposedly 6 feet in a hundred years, although one wonders who has measured this!). Continue reading
On Thursday (24 March) I popped down to the wood to see if the numbers of flowers out around my TrackaTree trees had changed at all, now that the nights are getting less cold. They had not, but elsewhere in the wood the Wood anemones are starting to come out, with smaller numbers of Lesser celandines. This is what we would expect to see at about this time of year.
So – the wind has veered to the north, wintery squalls are scudding across the sky, and thus the obvious thing to do is a Trackatree field visit to see how Spring is getting on. And I can report, with no little excitement, that things are stirring in the TrackaTree parts of Hillhouse Wood. Continue reading
It’s been a slightly off month so far, phenology wise. The weatherfolk tell us that this Spring has been relatively sunny, dry and warm. I don’t doubt them and their instruments, but feel that this doesn’t tell the whole story – which also needs to encompass ‘cold nights’. Continue reading
Things ‘should’ be happening rapidly now, as my trees and their ground flora make up for lost time. However, after a teasing couple of almost Spring-like days we’re back to cold, cloudy and uninviting weather. So, as a result, progress is less rapid than one might hope.
Nevertheless I’m still trying to get down to the wood every 2-3 days ‘just in case’. Continue reading