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Phenology with local naturalist Larry Weber every Friday morning at 8:20 on Northland Morning.

Backyard Almanac: It's not here yet, but there are early signs of spring

Red-osier dogwood [Cornus sericea]
from Born 1945 [via Flickr]
Red-osier dogwood [Cornus sericea]

It's been a string of 40 days now where a sub-zero temperature has been recorded in the area, bringing the statistical average below normal for February.

Even so, we are now one month from the vernal equinox, and Larry Weber has seen a few signs that spring is on the horizon. Woodpeckers have been continuing to hammer on trees to mark their territory, what Larry describes as pre-mating behavior. Skunks occasionally awaken and may be looking for mates as well. Larry says look to the trees too; he has seen the branches of red-osier dogwood trees turning red. They're not budding yet, but the red branches are signs that the tree is preparing for spring growth.