Looking for something fun to do while we’re all practicing social distancing? Turn your nature observations into art with your own phenology wheel or phenology journal!

Phenology is the observation of the seasonal and cyclic changes in the natural world. When does the snow start receding from the mountains? When do the cottonwoods begin to bud? When do the Mountain Bluebirds return?

Phenology wheel by Ellen Knight.

To use this wheel, spend some time each month drawing or painting your observations from that month. You may focus on one species or even one specimen for the entire year. Alternatively, you may wish to focus on the overall changes, or general feel of each month.

It will take some time to complete your wheel. That’s how it should be! After your wheel is complete, look for patterns or changes in color or textures that you may not have expected to see!

Download a printable template HERE.

You can also make more detailed daily observations with your own phenology journal. Click HERE for instructions and a printable template.

Please share your creations with us! We’d love to see (and share) what you’re observing and creating. Tag #mtnaturalhistorycenter on Instagram! (And for inspiration, check out the #phenologywheel and #naturejournal tags on Instagram.)