Phenology: Studying Natural Cycles of Plant and Animal Life

  • Some of the urban wildlife Nathan has observed. Nathan Binnema

One of the ways I am enjoying the outdoors this summer is through my study in phenological engagement. Since October, I have been taking an Introduction to Blackfoot Phenology course, involving five hours a week of field study at a local site. The course lasts 12 or 13 lunar cycles, depending on the year. The research method is to visit the site at least twice a week, trying to be aware of everything that is going on, and developing questions as you go along. Basic questions would include getting to know who is there, what is going on in their lives, and how a human being could participate in this ecology. Participants in the course are asked to submit field notes to the course page on Facebook.

I have been learning a lot through this course, and would like to continue learning when the course has finished. To that end, I would like to invite you to join my Facebook group, Inner Edmonton Ecological Engagement. On this page, members can post photographs, stories, videos, etc. of plants and animals – what they are doing and interactions with them – in our own neighbourhood, at the park, the River Valley, the back yard, and even the streets of downtown. By sharing our observations, we can learn about what is going on ecologically right here where we live – the news from our neighbours in the community of life.

Nathan lives in McCauley

More in this issue

Neighbourhood Views

  • Hallelujah Garage Sale – The Hallelujah Garage Sale on June 17 featured tables of goods for sale in front of many of the churches along Church Street, as well as in the McCauley Rink. The event was supported by McCauley Revitalization. Dan Glugosh

  • Pride Parade 2017 – The 2017 Pride Parade took place on June 10. This year’s Grand Marshalls were Edmonton’s two-spirit community. Paula E. Kirman  

  • Cecily Mills Receives Public Interest Award – Boyle Street resident and Boyle McCauley News contributor Cicely Mills received the 2017 Public Interest Award at the Public Interest Alberta (PIA) AGM on June 19. From left: Larry Booi (PIA Board President), Joel French (PIA Executive Director), Cicely, and John Wodak (Chair of the Seniors’ Action Liaison Team - SALT). Cicely was nominated for the award by SALT. Each year the Public Interest Awards are awarded to individuals and/or organizations who are working to strengthen Alberta’s public sphere and public interest. Public Interest Alberta

  • Annual Homeless Memorial – Gary Moostoos places a flower at the Homeless Memorial sculpture during the Edmonton Homeless Memorial on June 2, organized by the Edmonton Coalition on Housing and Homelessness (ECOHH). ECOHH identified 106 deaths in 2016 due to homelessness, with a total of 599 deaths documented since the first memorial service 12 years ago. Paula E. Kirman

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We are always looking for new writers and photographers, as well as ideas for future stories. We also regularly need block carriers to help with the delivery and distribution of the paper. Email Paula with your submissions, feedback, ideas, and availability. We also ask that contributors read our Editorial Guidelines and that all volunteers read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

Upcoming Themes

Our theme for April’s issue is “Freedom.” What does freedom mean to you? What are things you do in your life that make you feel free? How have you overcome obstacles to freedom in your life? Deadline: March 12. Articles should be no longer than 500 words and accompanied by photos whenever possible. Send your work to: