I was inspired by this article to start keeping a phenology journal (basically a nature diary where you keep track of the weather and changes in seasons). I couldn’t find a diary or journal I liked, so decided to use a plain notebook to create our own. I was so excited to find these notebooks that have a list of months and numbers across the top, so I can circle the date for each page, and divide the page up for the next 6 years. Then Jake burst my bubble by pointing out that circling the date at the top really wasn’t any easier than simply writing it. Oh, well. I had to buy three notebooks to have enough pages for 365 days.
Originally, I envisioned this as something Adeline and I would do together, helping us to observe nature more closely. But so far, I’ve been recording things by myself. I realized that we already talk about weather & wildlife & changes in the seasons very regularly, and it’s just easier for me to do the writing alone at the end of the day. Some day I’m sure we’ll take turns writing in it.
As a child I always liked stories where someone finds an old diary or scrapbook or a trunk full of old photos and letters in the attic, and some mystery ensues as they try to piece together the past, perhaps visiting a library to delve through dusty archives or use a microfilm machine in the process (what, me, a library nerd? indeed!). I’m still a great fan of epistolary novels. Perhaps this is why I’ve always been a compulsive chronicler: journals, scrapbooks, photo albums, shoeboxes full of letters & cards, even this blog. I secretly fantasize about my great-great-grandchildren coming across these objects someday and piecing together a bit of their ancestral history. 🙂
But for all that chronicling, I’ve never ever done a daily diary. I worried a bit that this would be too much for me, and become just one more chore that I have to do at the end of the day. And honestly, some days it feels like that; and on those days I just don’t write much. But mostly it’s fun, and I’m looking forward to finding similarities and differences in the days once we’ve been doing this for a few years. And perhaps becoming just a little more in tune with my natural surroundings. I’d love to be able to say old-timer things like, “Oh, fog this morning; there’ll be snow in six months.” Or maybe not.