Winter, spring, summer and fall

Courtesy username: MN Photos / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Courtesy J. Stephen Conn / CC BY-NC 2.0

Courtesy Dan Dzurisin / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Courtesy Eric Mueller / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Phenology is the study of appearances—especially, how the appearance of nature changes over the course of the seasons. Scientists observe nature and record:

  • rain, snow, cloud cover and temperature
  • frosts, freezes and thaws
  • water level and quality
  • animals’ presence, appearance and numbers
  • types of plants and when they bloom, bud or fruit
  • rates of growth and change

…and much more. All this information helps us understand the natural cycles of life.