Almanac: The story of a year

This is the story of a year.

In March 2021 I started creating my own almanac. The weather reports are always a little hit-and-miss where we live. Predicted storms often swirl around below the hill and fail to touch us. Late frosts often do not happen, as sheltered as our little garden is. I wanted to live by the seasons as we experience them.

I figured it would take a few years before a true pattern emerged, but it would be an interesting project along the way. During the hard months of 2020 I found great comfort in watching the cycle of the seasons, when everything else in the world is unpredictable and unstable, it brings a calmness to me that I can anchor to.

Until this moment, I had marked the seasons by revisiting the same scene along my regular walk from my doorstep. Winter to me meant bare branches reflected in half-frozen flood water. I enjoyed watching the gradual return of the bright green grass of the meadow, of the leaves appearing on the trees, the blossoms forming bright white froth on the hawthorn hedgerow. I wanted a more detailed aid to my memory to accompany my photographs, to look back on over years to come.

My little notebook soon expanded from simple temperature and weather notes into a garden journal. Then I started to add field notes and details of all of the seeds and bulbs I had planted.

Moon cycles, constellations and planets to look for in the night and morning skies soon got jotted in at the start of each month.

We found that every sunrise is different. We started working our day around solar noon, in order to watch each day dawn.

As the fields started to warm and the footpaths became passable again, lists of wild flowers to search for in the hedgerows and woodlands gave our walks added interest.

As I start to share the story of a year here, I hope that you will not mind if I wind the clock back to winter, so that I can start at the very beginning.

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Listed below is the diary I use for creating my almanac.

I want to stress that any notebook or computer spreadsheet would work πŸ™‚

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Hobonichi Journal

22 Comments Add yours

  1. Katie says:

    This is gorgeous. You’ve inspired me! I have a 5 year journal where I write little notes (first hummingbird of the year, first monarch butterfly, first asparagus spear out of the ground, etc) and it’s so fun to compare year to year. But this is much more detailed and I love it. What a way to stay connected with nature on a daily basis!!

    I’m working in a Jibun Techo right now and the monthly pages are currently blank… so thank you for the idea!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds brilliant – have you been filling in the five year diary for long? ❀️ I am looking forward to comparing the years very much.

      I’ve found the layout of the Japanese diaries suit me really well … I shall have to look up the Jibun techno! πŸ™‚


      1. Katie says:

        I’ve been using the five year book for about 2.5 years – I have a sporadic 2019 filled in, but a full 2020 and am on track for a full 2021. It’s REALLY fun to compare the years! I’m also a fan of the Japanese planners. The Jibun is really similar to the Hobonichi Cousin (which I used for several years), except it doesn’t have the daily pages. You can also choose different sizes and colors, which was fun.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I had a look at the Jibun and it looks great … I’ll need a new one at Christmas so I’m keeping a wishlist of candidates πŸ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

  2. beth says:

    I love that you’ve been doing this – what a cool record

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth πŸ’šπŸŒΏπŸŒΌ

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a neat idea! Looking forward to starting at the beginning of your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I love your photographic blogs, always happy when I spot a new one on the WordPress Reader πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful, simply wonderful! What a great way to celebrate living in place. You have inspired me. As for winding the clock back…by all means! I am a huge fan of all things timey-wimey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I am always so impressed at how you keep up your regular blog writing, as well as writing novels! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t have young children or a job outside the home. Still, the writing sure keeps me busy. πŸ˜‰


  5. I’m looking forward to reading about and seeing your journey. I’m a sucker for notebooks, pens, etc., so I’d probably best not look. πŸ™‚


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know that feeling! I love notebooks, anything art related … πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is wonderful! I have been keeping track of local wild plants for the past year and I’ve found it to be life-changing, being so much more grounded in nature.


    1. That’s really heartening to hear – I hope it proves life-changing for me when I look back on the year of notes too xx


  7. Great work – I wish I were this organized.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much! I can never keep up a huge journal but these tiny boxes per day suit me πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. dprastka says:

    This is really cool, and so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your journey and your notes along the way! ❀️ ~Diana

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank so much Diana x

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jo says:

    I love this! It’s so completely mindful.


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