Fun-ology at Phenology

A lot of Chewonki life is go go go. But sometimes it’s nice to take a break. Every weekend I look forward to going out to my phenology site to get some me-time and spend an hour looking out at the Maine coast. The first weekend of the semester each student was assigned a spot on the neck with a view of the water. The purpose of this spot is to go back week after week and notice changes and similarities (this is New England so it looks different each time), while recording observations and focusing on a specific prompt. This counts as an assignment for our science class, and it’s always one that I enjoy doing. 

Every Saturday afternoon (although you can do it any time or day you’d like), while everyone is either cozying up in the Wallace building with a cup of tea and their homework, or lazing around on the quad (if the weather permits), I’ll grab my phenology notebook, a pencil, and my CD player and head into the woods. On the way there I take my time looking at the trees, getting distracted by funky looking mushrooms, or going off course and stumbling across good moss-collecting spots or old cabins that haven’t been used in years. Occasionally spotting a fellow semester student blasting music and running around. 

Once I’ve arrived at my site, I nestle myself in and start scribbling. One of my favorite parts is taking my time with the notes I take, making them pretty and something that I can be proud of. I spend maybe longer than I need to on the drawings, but the hour flies by and soon it’s time to go back to campus. 

I remember the first day we were assigned our sites. While I was exploring the rocks and seaweed, I found a dead horseshoe crab (or Limulus Polyphemus- that one’s for you, Megan) right in front of me. I was so excited that my hands started shaking and I ran back a little bit early to show everyone else. I named it “Stu,” but much to my disappointment, the rest of SoHo (South Hall) thought maybe we shouldn’t bring it back into the cabin, considering it would stink up the place. That’s alright though, I gave it to the Binnacle boys and they put it into their collection of horseshoe crabs on top of their woodpile. I still see Stu every time I walk past there on my way up to the Quad. 

Ashley Bryan, Hudson High School, Hudson, MA

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