Spring is popping up all over in the northeast making this a good time to revisit Project BudBurst. This is a national program that enlists volunteers across the country to help scientists study the biological/seasonal rhythms of plant life – in other words, phenology. By volunteering to be an amateur phenologist – that is agreeing to note first leafing, first flowering, and first fruiting of trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses growing in your yard – and posting the dates of these events on the Project BudBurst website, you assist professional phenologists’ ability to map the seasonal timing of a diverse group of plant life. Scientists hope this information will shed some light on climate change across time.
I chose to watch for the first dandelion flower, as well as the first flowers on Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Eastern Red Columbine. I’ll also watch a Tulip Poplar tree to report when its first leaves and flowers appear. These were all on a list of those phenologists are seeking observations of.
For more information on this project read my initial post, then visit the link above to gain additional information on Project BudBurst and to choose the plants you want to watch. Even if you opt not to participate in the observation program, the website has great information and photos of plants growing in areas across the country.