Northern Saw-Whet Owl
Immature Northern Saw-Whet Owl, a winter rarity, taken in Polk County. Photo: Leland M. Searles 2017

New Title:


Beginning with the 2018 issue, the Raccoon River Watershed Phenology Calendar will be renamed THE IOWA PHENOLOGY CALENDAR. This change reflects two important trends: increasingly the audience for the calendar lies in other watersheds, and my travels and photographic reach extend across the state.

information in the calendar applies to most of the state, along with adjacent south central Minnesota, southwestern Wisconsin, western and northwestern Illinois, and far northern Missouri.


Consider calendars as:

* Holiday and birthday gifts.

* Prizes and gifts to employees or another special group

of people, perhaps students or environmental and

science teachers.

* Your personal guide to the outdoors, at home and at


*"Swag" for conferences, employee parties, and other events.

In addition, if you are interested in using the calendar as a fundraiser
for your business or organization, send a message through the Contact Leeward page.

Customer comments about the 2016 calendar:

"Beautiful job. Labor of love." - Des Moines

"I enjoy the information on the calendar and make my own notes." - Des Moines

"I very much appreciate and support your efforts." - Dallas County

"It is a wonderful calendar and also makes a great gift." - Ames

"They are beautiful, as always." - Madison County

"Those calendars are precious. Thank you for making those splendid works of combined art and education!" - Johnson County

"Yes! Two calendars. This family loves them." - SW Wisconsin

Past customer comments about the calendar:

"... a lovely and fascinating calendar." -

"Your calendar is a masterpiece." - Polk County, IA

"The calendar is delightful! I look forward to using one & sharing the rest with family & friends!" - Madison, WI

"Awesome job on the calendar. We love it!" - Guthrie County, IA

"The calendars are great! Love them - they will make great Christmas gifts!" - Sac County, Iowa

"Nice job, Leland! We were pleased to contribute in our small way." - Polk County, IA

What better way to become familiar with the natural world around you than have a calendar with the dates when things are happening?

(A 2019 Iowa Phenology Calendar is in the works!)

New for 2018:

a new name: The Iowa Phenology Calendar

wider coverage of the state and its watersheds

larger format

all-new photography

updated natural and nature-related events

To place an order, click here to go to the Contact Leeward page. Follow the instructions about information to include in your message.

Below you'll find more on phenology, and there are some photo selections from the 2018 calendar.


Phenology is the study of cycles and patterns in ecosystems. In the broadest sense, it is the transfer of the sun's energy through natural rhythms and life cycles. Usually the focus is on life forms and the seasonal changes they experience, but these account for broader cycles, such as the exchange of water between air and surface.

Many cycles already are familiar, making you and most other humans students of phenology, even if you didn't know that. We are aware of daily or diurnal changes, seasons, bird migration, the flowering and seeding of plants, and other rhythms.
Copyright 2012-2017 Leeward Solutions, LLC. All rights reserved, including for images and text on the site unless otherwise credited. Phone: 515-979-6457.