Poppies and roses in full bloom at Sol Feliz Farm

20140612-063204-23524635.jpgThe poppies and yellow roses have always bloomed together here at Sol Feliz Farm.  We like to look at the timing of flowering (phenology) and see if it might indicate anything about the growing season or if we see any trends in flowering.  This is part of a greater question in Ecology about how climate change might be affecting the flowering times of plants.

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The flowering times of plants has always been of interest.  I remember acquiring information that the Spanish would plant lilac bushes in this area upon their arrival to get an idea of what kind of growing season there would be in these areas that were new to them.  This would give them an idea of what kinds of fruit trees could thrive and when to plant important crops.

In looking at our photo records, we notice that in 2009 the poppies and roses were in full bloom on June 4.  In 2013 we took photos of the full bloom on June 10 and this year you can see we are in full bloom on June 7.  I don’t believe any of these dates are significantly different from the rest to make any profound statements about phenology and Climate Change.  But this is an ongoing observation that might produce results in the years to come that may be interesting.

We expect that flowering times in the future might come earlier due to warmer Springtime weather.  We might also see flowering times delayed due to a harsh winter or late Springtime freeze.  We might see some plants shift their flowering times and others remain somewhat consistent depending on their individual tolerances and adaptability.  We might see some plants disappear from regions entirely given changes in climate and the effect on germination conditions.  We wish we could dive more into this science and get a more comprehensive view of multiple plant Species of various Families, but time and funding does not allow.  But hopefully our cross-sectional analysis inspires others to pay attention to flowering times and climate change and maybe even contribute to some citizen-based science by plugging in your observations to a the larger phenology network analyses that are going on in the field of climate science and Ecology…

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About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
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