This short post will serve as a sort of guidepost, a table of contents or roadmap if you will, for the next month or so worth of content. We are excited to bring you a 4-article series on maple phenology. Phenology is a fancy word for describing nature’s calendar. We’ll discuss one of the most practical and accessible tools for tracking phenology – the growing degree day, or GDD for short. Second, we’ll seek to understand and document how GDD is related to species-specific patterns in maple bud and bloom timing and why that matters for maple producers. Then over the course of two installations, Les Ober will break down why an improvement of one’s understanding of maple season timing is particularly important towards the season’s end and how you can minimize and prevent unwanted bouts with “sour” or “buddy” sap. After all, our main goal is promoting sustainable production of high quality maple syrup!