Photography: Nature's Calendar

by Ron Toel

Ron Toel - Nature PhotographerThe seasons, a repeat of annual events, create new and different material for us to photograph. 

As a biologist, one can learn not only about the cyclic seasons but also the intricate inter species balance and symbiotic relationships happening in the daily life of what inhabits our planet. 

One can also see that there is much more to the cyclic phenomenon than just the seasons.  Stop and think about the water cycle, the moon phases, the nitrogen and other chemical cycles that influence the decomposition of matter. 

The natural world also contains the cyclic  patterns of life to fulfill their lives.  Look at the migrations, not only birds but also animals as the wildebeest, and elk and sheep and goats, and the whales.



The following Calendar is drafted for the central part of the U.S. 

PronghornJANUARY

MAMMALS

  • Beavers begin to mate
  • Black bear begin to give birth to cubs
  • All members of the deer family start to shed their antlers
  • All members of the Canid Family start to mate
  • Raccoons start to mate
  • Squirrels begin to give birth

BIRDS

WILDFLOWERS

  • Witch hazel
  • Jasmine

FEBRUARY

MAMMALS

  • Groundhogs start to mate
  • Mink begin to mate
  • Opossums begin to mate
  • Flying squirrel begin to mate
  • Skunks begin to mate
  • Least shrew begins to mate
  • Chipmunks come from hibernation
  • River otters are being born.

FlowerBIRDS

WILDFLOWERS

  • Witch hazel
  • Harbinger of spring
  • Skunk Cabbage

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Tiger salamanders start to mate
  • Chorus frogs start to sing
  • Spotted salamanders start looking for breeding ponds.

MARCH

MAMMALS

  • Opossum are being born. The babies crawl into mother’s pouch
  • Muskrat begin to mate
  • River otters are born
  • Flying squirrels are being born
  • Cottontail begin to mate
  • Badgers are being born

BIRDS

WILD FLOWERS IN BLOOM

  • Spring Beauty
  • Redbud
  • Hepatica
  • Red Maples
  • Rue anemones
  • Serviceberry
  • Bloodroot
  • Pussy Willows
  • Pussytoes
  • Gooseberries
  • Dutchman’s Breeches
  • Spice bush
  • Squirrel Corn
  • Fern Fiddleheads appear
  • Rose Verbena
  • Wild plums
  • Marsh Marigolds

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Bats start to leave hibernation
  • Butterflies start to appear.

APRIL

MAMMALS

  • Moles babies are born
  • Bobcats are being born
  • The canids are being born
  • Beavers are being born
  • Mink Kits are born

BIRDS

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM

  • Coreopsis
  • Dogwoods
  • Spiderwort
  • Elms
  • Bellwort
  • Wild black  cherry
  • Celandine poppy
  • Maples
  • Sweet Williams
  • Hickories
  • Shooting Star
  • Oaks
  • Toothwort 
  • Fire Pink
  • Wild Ginger
  • Columbine
  • Violets
  • Trilliums
  • Wild Hyacinth
  • Wild Geraniums
  • Bluebells
  • Crested Iris
  • Phlox

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Snakes start to leave their dens
  • Fish start to spawn

MAY

MAMMALS

  • Skunk kits are born
  • Raccoons  babies are born
  • Opossum babies emerge from pouch
  • Baby beavers emerge from lodges
  • Antlers start to grow
  • The canids leave dens
  • Ground hog babies leave burrows

BIRDS

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM

  • Yellow star grass
  • Buckeyes
  • Squaw Root
  • Hawthorns
  • Blue eyed grass
  • Dewberries
  • Missouri Primrose
  • Black Locust
  • May Apple
  • Larkspur
  • Delphinium
  • Indianpink
  • Indian Paintbrush
  • Wild Indigo
  • Yellow Ladyslippers
  • Beardtongue
  • Jack-in-pulpit

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Gray tree frogs  chorus
  • Many insects are out in full force.

JUNE

MAMMALS

  • Fawns (deer and elk ) are being born
  • Bison are being born
  • Coyote pups are being weaned
  • Bats bear their young
  • Bobcats are being born

BIRDS

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM

  • Lady Slippers 
  • Tulip Poplar
  • Purple Coneflower 
  • Gooseberries
  • Prairie Rose
  • Elderberries
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Mulberries
  • Milk Weed
  • Smoke tree
  • Yarrow
  • Cattails
  • Solomon Seal
  • Pawpaw
  • Trumpet Creeper.
  • Yucca
  • Culver Root
  • Chicory
  • St. John’s wort
  • Blackeyed Susans
  • Prickly Pear Cactus

MISCELLANEOUS

  • All Turtles are laying eggs
  • Bullfrog are mating
  • Cricket frogs are mating
  • Toad babies are leaving the water

JULY

MAMMALS

  • Young raccons leace dens
  • Long tailed weasels begin to mate
  • Second batch of squirrel babies are born
  • Mink kits leave den
  • Fawns much more active in the meadows

BIRDS

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM

  • Cardinal Flower
  • Compass Plant
  • Purple Prairie Clover
  • Bazing Star
  • Bergamont
  • Lead Plant
  • Bee Balm
  • Royal Catchfly (silene regia)
  • Mountain Mint
  • Woodland Sunflowers
  • Pitcher Plants

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Dragonflys lay eggs
  • Rat snakes lay eggs
  • Katydids sing
  • Lizards bask in the sun.

AUGUST

MAMMALS

  • Badgers begin to mate
  • Baby bats begin to fly
  • Cave dwelling bats begin to mate
  • Male antlered animals begin to rub the velvet from their antlers
  • Thirteen lined ground squirrels begin to gorge
  • Black bears begin to mate.

BIRDS

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM

  • Common milkweed
  • Asters
  • Sunflowers
  • Primrose
  • Prairie Dock
  • Goldenrod
  • Pitcher Sage
  • Jewelweed

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Copperheads babies are seen
  • Snapping turtles hatch
  • Salamanders Juveniles transform to adults

SEPTEMBER

MAMMALS

  • Antlered animals begin the rut
  • Fawns loose their spots
  • Squirrels are storing food

OystercatcherBIRDS

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM

  • Golden rods
  • Asters
  • Many tree fruits and nuts are ripe and used for food

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Monarch Butterflys migrate
  • Garden Spiders appear
  • Marbled Salamanders begin to breed
  • Tiger Salamanders search for ponds
  • Snakes start to hibernate

MooseOCTOBER

MAMMALS

  • Moose are mating
  • Bats hibernate
  • Hibernating animals fatten up

BIRDS

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM

  • Gentians
  • New England Asters

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Rattlesnakes Hibernate
  • Hellbenders breeding
  • Frogs Hibernate

NOVEMBER

MAMMALS

  • Most hibernation takes place
  • Most animals seek winter shelters

BIRDS

  • Cranes migrate South
  • Diving ducks complete migration

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Hellbender eggs hatch
  • Most leaves have fallen….good time to look for bird nest.

Mountain LakeDECEMBER

MAMMALS

  • River otters begin mating.
  • Grey squirrels begin mating.
  • Red foxes begin courtship.

BIRDS

Scenic



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