Signs of Spring

This is a Pickerel Creek phenology post.

High temp yesterday – 55°F
Breezy and sunny!
Sunrise at 6:19AM, sunset at 5:57PM – 11 hours and 22 minutes of daylight! Nearly an hour gained in the three weeks since my last phenology post!

This may not look like the most springlike picture, with all the snow and bare trees (no sign of leaf buds breaking yet), but it certainly felt like spring yesterday when I took this photo. I was keeping my eyes peeled for signs of spring as I hiked out to the creek – drowsy red-bellied snakes sunning on logs on exposed south-facing banks? Early Mourning Cloak butterflies on the wing? Maybe a wood frog, or a chipmunk emerging from hibernation? Returning migratory birds? I saw none of these things, but in a snow-free patch of ground at the base of a tree, I finally found this.

The very beginnings of a spring wildflower? (The bigger compound leaf in the foreground was the size of my thumbnail.) If so, I’m not sure what kind, but I was happy to see it. Spring is coming!

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4 thoughts on “Signs of Spring”

  1. To my eyes, those young trees look reddish, like the buds are forming. That’s a very early sign of spring, and sometimes leads to crazy things like wearing t-shirts in 40-degree weather. :)

    I love spring in colder regions; it’s so much more intense and celebrational–it’s so much more needed!

    1. The alders do have reddish leaf buds on them. The datasheet I’m using for my project specifically instructs one to check for “breaking” leaf buds, meaning you can see the green leaf poking through at the tip. None of that yet.

      I know this is unnaturally early for spring in this area and I should be worrying about global warming… and I am… but I can’t help LOVING spring!

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