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

Backyard Almanac: The February wrap-up, and movement toward spring.

Gary A Eslinger (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) [via Flickr]

Even with the warm spell at the very end of February, the last two months were much colder than average: February average 5.9 degrees F, well below its average of 15.4 F. With January being 6.5 degrees colder than normal, the average over the two months was around 8 degrees below normal. March will likely bring more snow, but it is no longer the snowiest month, as it used to be. It is now in fifth place, below December, January, February, and November. The blizzard last week has caused many creatures to either dig up one of their caches or to look for new sources. Larry Weber has seen deer, squirrels, beaver, and even a porcupine.

But even if nature isn't ready to give up on winter, we are two weeks from the vernal equinox where hours of daylight will surpass hours of darkness, and the weather service does consider March 1 the first day of "meteorological spring." And Larry has noticed a few indications of early spring in area plants, including the appearance of pussy willow buds and quaking aspen buds.

Chris Harwood is The North 1033’s Production Director and (acting) Program Director, a morning/daytime host, and the host of Soul Village. He is also a musician, a music historian, an audio engineer, and an avid record collector.