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Season Watch Podcast: The Pilot

A stream runs through Northern Minnesota on a sunny summer day. The words "SEASON WATCH PODCAST/ streaming now" are superimposed on the image.
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A stream runs through Northern Minnesota in summer.

Friends! Romans! Phenologists! Lend me your ears. The Season Watch Podcast has finally arrived!

The Season Watch podcast is the newest addition to KAXE's popular phenology programming. Thanks to John Latimer's dulcet tones and outdoor wisdom, the KAXE community has been asking for more, and we're happy to provide!

You can find the special seasonal production as part of the Phenologypodcast feed. Phenology can also be found on Apple Podcasts, NPR One, and Google Podcasts.

What it is (so far)

Sarah Mitchell with a friendly crow. A white person with black glasses and dimples sits in a coniferous forest. A young crow stands on their shoulder.
Sarah Mitchell
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KAXE
Sarah Mitchell with a friendly crow.

In the pilot episode, you’ll learn a bit about me, your friendly not-quite-local biologist/John Latimer sidekick.

Next is the longform monthly watch list: a whole lotta things to be looking for in the month of April, along with clips of bird and frog calls and identification tips. (Cats like to sleep, and leopard frogs like to snore.)

I also chuck in a bad limerick about garter snakes, a story about my first date with my wife (it involves Saw-Whet owls), and you can listen to me struggle to not call everything in nature my “favorite.”

Send help

To level with you, oh beloved reader, this has challenged me. I had a speech impediment growing up, so editing an almost-hour-long recording of my voice activated some longstanding insecurities. Luckily, I’ve had a wonderful team of co-workers encouraging me along the way, and I’m sure it’ll get easier as we go!

Those insecurities aside, there’s the challenge of what this podcast is going to be. There is so much to cover, and so much I’m enthusiastic to talk about when it comes to nature! One way you can really help me is by telling me what you want to hear, and in what format.

An old-fashioned computer mouse hovers over the word "Help". The icon is in the shape of a hand. The caption reads "SOS: Save Our Sarah".
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An old-fashioned computer mouse hovers over the word "Help".

What it can be

John, Heidi and I have bounced around several ideas, including a longform monthly watchlist (featured here), deep dives into specific animals/plants/behaviors, or covering more complex phenological questions (e.g. how climate change affects phenology, phenological relationships between species, etc).

So, please get in touch! Tell us what you’re interested in learning, what you find entertaining, how long you want the podcasts to be, or anything else that might help us build something of value to you and the community.

As always, you can get in touch with me at smitchell@kaxe.org, with John at jlatimer@kaxe.org, or with Heidi at hholtan@kaxe.org.

Thanks for listening — I'm incredibly grateful for your support!


For more phenology, subscribe to our Season Watch Newsletter or visit the Season Watch Facebook page.

Audio recordings have been generously provided by Laura Erickson, and supplemented as needed by copyright-free recordings available through iNaturalist.

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

Charlie Mitchell (she/they) joined KAXE in February of 2022. Charlie creates the Season Watch Newsletter, produces the Phenology Talkbacks show, coordinates the Phenology in the Classroom program, and writes nature-related stories for KAXE's website. Essentailly, Charlie is John Latimer's faithful sidekick and makes sure all of KAXE's nature/phenology programs find a second life online and in podcast form.


With a background in ecology and evolutionary biology, Charlie enjoys learning a little bit about everything, whether it's plants, mushrooms, or the star-nosed mole. (Fun fact: Moles store fat in their tails, so they don't outgrow their tunnels every time conditions are good.)