The last couple of weeks have been a fairly quiet time in the garden, either the weather has been against us or we have been working in the house or entertaining friends.
Being confined indoors by the weather has allowed me to start on a project that I have been planning for a long time, recording the flora and fauna that we have in the garden. Since we moved here I have kept a list of birds that I have seen but now I am expanding this to cover everything else.
Initially I am recording everything I can identify on an excel spreadsheet linked to a photograph and notes as to things were in relationship to plants etc. This will give me an overview of the ecology and biodiversity of the garden as I will see the relationships between organisms. I have got various bits of equipment for collecting and identifying insects etc and obviously everything collected will be unharmed and released as soon as possible where it was collected.
I am also going back through my photographic archive and adding species from that to my database. One of the great advantages of this is that digital photos are time stamped so I know precisely when they were taken.
Then starting on new years day I will start recording the date at which I first see each species I have listed to form an ongoing record of the phenology (phenology is the recording of date, climate etc as opposed to phrenology which is a psuedoscience measuring lumps an bumps on peoples heads!) of the garden. Hopefully over the years I will be able to see trends appearing.
The other thing I want to start doing (again) is drawing specimens from the garden. When I did my degree we had to draw specimens and I really enjoyed it, it was very disciplined unlike the art I produce now so I need to get back into practice.