How do you use it? You basically have three options -- each option has a pull down menu
and a button above the menu to click when you've made a choice. What are the options you ask?
Option 1: Weedometer/Speedometer graph for a single species. The numbers (speed) are days of the year and the colored portions represent when the weed was observed doing something -- the green parts of the left are the range of first emergence time and the darker center is the average (over 4 years, data collected by Jerry Doll at the Weed Garden on the Arlington Research Station in southern Columbia County, Wisconsin). The yellow colored part on the right is the first appearance of flowers, again, the color represents the range and the orange core is the average.
Option 2: The second thing you can do is change location. The data used to create the plots was collected from the Arlington Research Station "Weed Garden" between 1998 and 2001. I have extrapolated the results with the well-known "Hopkins' Bioclimatic Law" which basically tells you how latitude, longitude and altitude conspire to affect phenological timing. I have calculated the adjustment between various locations (in the menu) and also have made a map in [PNG][JPG][PDF]. If the subject interests you, please feel free to download a spreadsheet with 36000 US cities, lat, lon, elev and, after choosing a city, the spreadsheet calculates the deviation between that location and all others. You can download it in "open spreadsheet format", for OpenOffice, or for "microsoft excel".
Option 3: The last thing you can do is make a multispecies graph called a "Gantt chart". Gantt charts are used a lot in project or team management sorts of activities. They are also sometimes used for phenology -- I recall seeing some that helped fisherman choose the right sorts of flies. Apparently to a fish, certain insects are supposed to come out at certain times and they might be otherwise suspicious. I can't say anything about whether those using it caught more fish, but the concept is great. So, you use the "multiselect" menu on the right (hold down the CONTROL key to select multiple species if they are not sequential). Press the button above the menu and... presto. Each species is a bar (the same bar that the 'arc' covers on the speedometer. The range of first emergence is colored light green. If you want to save the plot, you can just right click and "save image as" choosing some file name. Best to choose something like "weedgraph.png". The default is "weedgantt.php" in some browsers and *php isn't a type of image. It is a "png" formatted image, however. In case you were wondering, "png" is basically free version of "gif" standing for "portable network graphic".
Please play around with it, try to break it. Email me if you have thoughts on how to make it better or if something doesn't seem to be working. Ed Luschei (ecluschei AT wisc daht edu).