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

Backyard Almanac: The Wild Swings of February Continue

A nuthatch in the snow eating sunflower seeds
Jan Røise [Via Flickr]

The cold is back, but it’s temporary. In fact, neither cold nor warm seems to be a constant in the whacky weather month of February. The warmest temperature of the winter hit 43 degrees on February 8th – the warmest day since Thanksgiving. The coldest day of the winter happened just five days prior; the temp clocked in at 22 below.

Pseudo-spring is apparently upon us.

“When we get up to 40 degrees this time of year,” says Larry Weber, “we experience some things that usually don’t happen until much later.” Chickadees and nuthatches become louder and lots of mammals start becoming more active. Squirrels start to frolic in their usual pre-mating rituals.

It’s also not unusual for some hibernators to begin waking up. Skunks might be a more common sight during these pseudo-spring days.

Owls are starting to call more, too. Listen in the night for the iconic sounds.

And while you’re out listening, don’t forget to look. There might be a few small buds forming on the trees. “I’m gonna be out there looking,” says Weber. “I would not be surprised to see some of the pussywillow buds to start opening up."

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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