Evening Phenology, Owen Conservation Park in Madison Wisconsin



Trail Through Virginia Bluebells ©2016 Bo Mackison

May 5, 2016

Owen Conservation Park, west side of Madison, Wisconsin

Start: 6:00 p.m. (sunset 8:04 p.m.)
sunny 68˚F
wind 5 mph NW
barometric pressure 30.00
humidity 29%

In the woods:

Virginia bluebell, in full bloom along the woodland trail.
False solomon seal emerging
Wood anemone in bloom, moderate show
Woodpeckers, species unknown (lots of rat-a-ta-a-tatting high in the hardwoods)
Fiddle heads, many fully opened, common in open wooded areas.
Honeysuckle, beginning to flower
Robins, common
Lesser periwinkle (vinca) in full bloom, common
Dutchman’s breeches, only a few still blooming


Forest of Bloodroot ©2016 Bo Mackison

Bloodroot, emerging foliage, common in the under-story.

Yellow bellwort, bloom done
Columbine emerging
Creeping charlie (ground ivy, spreading mint) in dense bloom, disturbed ground near trail
Wild geranium (potted geranium) profuse bloom, common
Common blue violets (wood violet, wooly blue violet) in bloom, profuse
Trillium, Grandiflora, two bunches
Wood sorrel
Small white violets, uncommon


Tree Canopy ©2016 Bo Mackison

White oaks, leaves emerging; Red maples, silver maples, leafing.

Arrow-leaved violet, uncommon
Garlic mustard in bloom (invasive weed threat)
Golden alexanders, full bloom
May apples, emerging foliage, no bloom.
Sumac, 6 ft high “sticks” with emerging red leaves
Maple tree shoots, six inches high, cover the forest floor.
Crabapple trees, several varieties, in moderate-full bloom


6:35 p.m.
64˚F sunny, few high clouds to the south
wind 5 mph NW
humidity 28%


Twice a week phenology reports in woodland; once a week reports from prairie and pond. Owen Conservation Park, Madison Wisconsin

Phenology is the study of plant and animals and their cycles influenced by climate and seasonal change, i.e., birds nesting/migrating,  flowers blooming, trees leafing.

Flower Mandala — Symmetrical Cosmos

Cosmos © 2015 Bo Mackison

Cosmos © 2015 Bo Mackison

“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.”  ~ Carl Sagan

Flower Mandala – Pink Zinnia

Pink Zinnia ©2015 Bo Macksion

Pink Zinnia ©2015 Bo Mackison

Flower Mandala – White and Yellow Peony


“Come out of the circle of time
. And into the circle of love.” ~ Rumi

New Beginnings – The Arrival of Spring

Wisconsin Woods in Spring

Wisconsin Woods in Early Spring © 2015 Bo Mackison

A few weeks into Spring by the calendar and I’m seeing the first hints of green in the woodlands. The forest floor is greening and will soon be a mass of ferns, wildflowers and green ground cover. The early spring forest floor has a brief window of time for its glory. Once the tree canopy shades the ground and the sun no longer than filter through the skeletal branches, the wildflower show will diminish. But for now, we are at the beginning.

Fern Appears

The Ferns Appear © 2015 Bo Mackison

Amidst the leaf litter from last year, green plants and ferns break through the earth and poke above the leaves. I hiked several miles through woodland and admired the hints of green while looking for the first flower of spring (not counting the garden variety flowers nor a few flowering forsythia).

First Wild Flower of Spring - April 11, 2015

First Flower of Spring – Wood Squill © 2015 Bo Mackison

The wood squill  (or Siberian squill) is one of the first of the spring-flowering bulbs to emerge in early spring.  The flower has six “petals” (actually three petals and three sepals) and is less than an inch across. These deep blue flowers will last only few weeks. This was one of the several I saw, the earliest ones to emerge, but soon the scattered parts of the forest floor will be a sea of blue.