Northern Saw-Whet Owl
A late-summer Monarch butterfly female. Her eggs have already hatched to become the "Methuselah" generation, the individuals that migrate to their wintering grounds in central Mexico. Photo: Leland M. Searles 2018


Beginning with the 2018 issue, the Raccoon River Watershed Phenology Calendar was 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. In my travels, I've noticed some differences in the timing of plant flowering and other happenings, but with regular use you'll figure out the local timing pretty easily.


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.

What better way to become familiar with the natural world around you than have a calendar with the dates when things are happening? Photos of Iowa's plants and animals? And more?

the 2022 iowa phenology calendar is in the design phase now.

it will be available later in 2021.

Starting with the 2021 edition, the dates of general first appearance for many migratory birds also give their starting or ending locations. This information helps you learn how Iowa is connected to an entire hemisphere of ecological habitats and happenings.
All-new photography for 2022, already under way.
A new center article on tracks and tracking as an introduction to this important nature awareness skill.

When the new calendar is available, click here to go to the Contact Leeward page. Follow the instructions about information to include in your message. In most cases I'll respond within 24 hours. Or email a message to

Don't send credit or debit card information by internet. If that's your preferred way to pay, we will use the telephone.

PRICING: $25.00 each, plus sales tax and postage/shipping. VOLUME DISCOUNTS: For 5 to 9 calendars, $24.00 each. For 10 or more, $23.50.

Below you'll find more on phenology, and there are some photo selections from the 2019 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.
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