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

Backyard Almanac: Spring is springing

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Florin Chelaru [via Flickr, commercial use allowed]
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Polygonia faunus, one of several butterfly species called anglewing butterflies, common in the Great Lakes region.

As we approach the 2022 vernal equinox (occurring at 10:33 a.m. CDT on Sunday, 3/20), daylight will exceed darkness in the northern hemisphere for the next six months. March is the month of crusty snow, but the past week has shown strong indications that spring is arriving. Temperatures in the past several days have been very warm around the region, rarely dropping below freezing if at all. Sap is flowing in many trees now, fueling new buds and providing food for anglewing butterflies who are hungry following their winter hibernation.

With the increasing daylight, Larry Weber has noticed the return of many birds to the area, including Canada geese and trumpeter swans along the St. Louis River. Bald eagles and golden eagles have been spotted in the sky from Enger Tower in the last few days as well. As the snow recedes from area tree trunks, Larry has also spotted mosses starting to sprout new growth. But if you still think you need more evidence that spring is arriving, he has also seen crocuses emerging, too.