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Foster and Kreitzman - Seasons of Life - Recognising and observing dependencies and triggers

Identifier

014194

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

The study of events which are significant as an indicator is known as ‘phenology’ and has been made into a science.  Thus, what was once the exclusive domain of  indigenous people has now become an accepted way of discovering a little more of the system behind the events – and this is key, by understanding and keeping a record of synchronised events, we might start to be able to work backwards in the activity dependency chain to determine what the actual dependency is between them – why they really happen at the same time.

Frances Bodkin – Sydney Mount Annan Botanical Gardens [botanist] – Reuters 2003
Present day scientists do their studies by measurement and experiments.  Aboriginal people are just as good scientists, but they use observation and experience.  In 1788, when English settlers first arrived in Sydney; they imposed the four European seasons on their new home without any real knowledge of local weather patterns, yet the local aborigines lived according to an annual six season calendar based on the flowering of various native plants.

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Trevor Lantz, Nancy Turner – University of Victoria
The arrival of one event predicts the imminence of another.  This data is a valuable predictive tool in forestry, agriculture and fisheries.  Fishermen in Western Canada have long recognised that pickerel run at the same time when the southern cottonwood releases seed, and on the East Coast of Canada, fishermen would not fish for shad until the Saskatoon or shadbush had flowered

A description of the experience

Seasons of Life – Russell G Foster and Leon Kreitzman

The Squamish people, aboriginal to British Columbia, believed that the singing of the thrush was  ‘responsible’ [linked with]  for ripening the salmon-berries.  They had similar markers for all times of year, whereby one natural event signalled to them the advent of another.  Their calendar was all around them – in the trees, in the sky, in the rivers and on the ground, as long as one knew the code.

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When the French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in Cape Cod in 1605, the Wampanoag people informed him that the best time to plant corn was when the white oak leaf was the same size as the footprint of a red squirrel.

The source of the experience

Foster and Kreitzmann

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References