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 🙂
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