Signs of the Seasons Field Guide: About This Guide

This field guide is a reference for participants in Signs of the Seasons. You will use the information in the SOS guide, along with materials on Nature’s Notebook and the SOS website, to learn how to conduct and record your observations in the field and online. You may find it helpful to take this guide with you when you go out into the field, especially the first few times.

As part of Signs of the Seasons, you are encouraged to observe both plants and animals. Some material in this guide pertains to only plants, only animals, or both plants and animals.

leaf iconHeadings for plant observations only are preceded by a leaf icon.

bird iconHeadings for animal observations only are preceded by a bird icon.

  • Headings for either plant or animal observations are standard black text.
  • Words defined in the glossary (Appendix C) are linked when they first appear in the text.

Note: This guide is adapted from the US National Phenology Network, Nature’s Notebook How to Observe handbook. All mentions of Nature’s Notebook in this guide refer to materials found on the USA-NPN website (