How well do you know your neighborhood?

ACH this past summer.

Or more accurately, I should say bioregion with regard to permaculture.  The term bioregion is an important framework for viewing our neighborhood, but its one I have to admit I don’t necessarily fully understand yet.  Using the term certainly broadens my thinking and really stresses in the interconnectedness of all life.  Our course work had us start with a little quiz about our bioregion and, well, it was hard.  The questions themselves were not difficult, but it made me realize how little I know about this area, both south central Alaska as well as my own street and the street where ACH resides (for those that don’t know I live across the street from ACH).  I tend to think I am an observant person, but I could not name five resident and migratory birds in my area.  The same is true about how much precipitation the area gets annually or which nocturnal animals are in the area.  After taking the initial quiz, the only thing I am assured of is where north is and I’ll admit it took me many years to definitely know that after I moved here.

What this quiz and starting this course highlights is that even though I live in a space, use that space, including being an avid gardner and outdoors a lot especially in the summer time, that there is so much to know and that knowledge is important to being a good steward of our neighborhoods and living in a sustainable way.  I really should know the last frost date, but don’t.  I can assure you that is about to change.  If you are interested in a similar quiz, there’s one here.

After the quiz, some resources were provided.  Looking at the average temperatures now and predicted for the future and the same for rain fall, it illustrates for me how the outliers, like a couple of hot days in July or frigid days in November, skew my overall idea of what is average.   I wonder if that is true for others.   And I know its certainly true for me with other areas of Alaska.  My idea of what’s average there is from brief travels or what hits the news.  That’s definitely led to a skewed perspective.

So let the observation and education begin in earnest.  Join me in taking a look around. I made a fun chart to record my observations.  I plan to print it and paste it into my planner.  Feel free to use it to make your own observations.