Phenology Friday


Each week, one of IslandWood’s educators will be sharing a phenological highlight. Watch the video of their explorations and then share your own observations with us using #PhenologyFriday!


Appropriate for: all ages!


[Image description: a large white fungi on the forest floor.]


This week, Community Education Manager Mary Meier leads an exploration of some of the seasonal changes she’s been noticing in her neighborhood park.



This week, Senior Vice President for Education John Haskin leads an exploration of some of the seasonal changes he’s been noticing in his backyard.



This week, Urban School Programs Coordinator Celina Steiger investigates some of the seasonal changes and variations she’s been noticing in the rhododendrons throughout her Seattle neighborhood. (Including a very satisfying rhododendron bud dissection and identification!)



This week, Graduate Recruitment Manager Kathie Bradford shares tips for observing current seasonal bird behavior – including courtship, nest-building, feeding young, and more. Wherever you live, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to observe plenty of bird activity just by looking outside your window!



Pro tip: It’s a good idea to search for bugs on a sunny day, when you’ll find more out and about. If it’s rainy, (gently) check under rocks, logs, and other objects.


It’s the perfect time of year to flex your amateur entomologist skills and explore the world of ladybugs, bees, millipedes, and more!


In this week’s edition of #PhenologyFriday, join Brightwater Programs Manager Derek Jones (and his two favorite assistants 😁) for an exploration of the bugs in his neighborhood.



Did you know that, alongside providing bird feeders, it’s important to promote wildlife habitats so that birds can get all the food they need?


In this special Mother’s Day edition of #PhenologyFriday, join Christina Doherty as she walks through the menagerie of birdhouses she and her family have built in their backyard. Along the way, you’ll learn how long it typically takes eggs to incubate, what birds like to use to line their nests, and how birds get food when they’re busy incubating their nestlings.



Chances are, you’ve seen lots of dandelions popping up recently. But how much do you really know about them? If you’re anything like Urban Programs Lead Educator Max Honch, the answer might be “not much!”


Join Max as he investigates this familiar (yet often overlooked) species by asking questions, making observations, drawing on prior experiences, and doing research.


Bonus: watch Max make dandelion lemonade, get some foraging etiquette tips, and explore a learning method that we use in many of our programs.


Did you know there are over 250 species of bumblebees and that they’re native to most place throughout the world, except Australia?


This #PhenologyFriday, follow along with School Overnight Program Instructor Berrick to learn more about bumblebees and learn how you can help scientists find ways to protect these important pollinators!


We tend to think of phenology as happening on the land, but the ocean has its own fascinating seasonal changes to explore.


In this edition of Phenology Friday, IslandWood docents Sharon and Paul Pegany take a look at some of the creatures found at low tide at Foulweather Bluff Preserve – including a species whose predator also happens to be its cousin.


Whoever said that art and science don’t go together?!


In this week’s edition of #PhenologyFriday, IslandWood Graduate Program alum Benay O’Connell (’20) demonstrates how phenology wheels can be a creative way to help connect us to the cycles of the natural world.


Download and print your own blank phenology wheel to use here →


From Siberian miner’s lettuce to lemon balm to wood sorrel (or, as Criqui calls it, “sour apple heart plant”), wild edible plants are all around us.


In this week’s Phenology Friday, join Senior Staff Instructor Criqui for guided tour of some of the edible plants you might find this time of year, plus tips and guidelines for your own foraging. (Hint: use guidebooks or other reputable sources to make sure you know what you’re eating!)


Want to know what causes flowering plants to bloom? Curious about the pollination process?


This week’s edition of Phenology Friday is led by Pei-Hsun Tsai (also known as Eve!), a former IslandWood summer programs intern and current research assistant at the Outdoor Education Research Office of the National Academy for Research in Taiwan. Eve chose IslandWood for her graduate school internship in order to further develop her skills as an educator and advocate for outdoor education, an experience that serve her today as she works to promote the inclusion outdoor education in Taiwan’s national school curriculum.


Check out this video to meet Eve and learn more about the flowering plants she’s been noticing on the National Academy park grounds!

Phenology Friday #12

Want to know what causes flowering plants to bloom? Curious about the po...

Phenology Friday #11

From Siberian miner’s lettuce to lemon balm to wood sorrel (or, as Criqu...

Phenology Friday #10

Whoever said that art and science don’t go together?!


  • LP says:

    I think skunk cabbage attracts flies because it gives of a smell like garbage and flies like that kind of smell.

  • John Haskin says:

    If you would like to add trillium plants to your own garden, you can find them available at nurseries or reputable online sellers. Please do not pick or attempt to transplant wild trillium.

  • Andrea Hildebrandt says:

    Hey All!
    This is great! Our kids are 8 and 10. We’re doing Phenology Friday today!!! Looking forward to this every Friday. Thank you!!
    Eva (10)
    Andrea (45)

  • Morgan Lindberg says:

    Hi Everyone!

    I’ve been posting your Phenology Friday videos every week on my schoology siet for my fourth graders! They post pictures and observations from their neighborhood following each video! Thank you for helping us get the kids outside even during the stay at home order! Its so good to see your faces again! Its been a long time since I’ve been back to visit! <3 Morgan (class of 2015)

    • admin says:

      Hi Morgan! It’s so wonderful to hear from you, and it absolutely makes my day to hear that you’ve been using these videos with your students! I’ll be sure to pass your message along to the rest of our team!

  • Andrea, Eva and Theo Hildebrandt says:

    Thanks for the fern knuckle, fiddle head and frond talk a few back John! My kids loved it! Today we’re going to hunt for our state tree, the Pacific Rhodedrondon, aka Rhody. Thanks Celina!

  • Alysia Navarro says:

    My brother is 9 and we looked at the first video today! He found it interesting and can’t wait to tell his classmates fun facts about skunk cabbage.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *