Backyard Almanac

Terry Priest/Flickr

Summer officially arrived Thursday morning at 5:07am.

Here in the Northland, the sun came up at 5:14am.

Today, it came up at 5:15am.

Leave it to Larry Weber to point out the days are already starting to get longer.

Jerry and Pat Donaho/Flickr

Larry Weber is enjoying the sunshine. pronghorn antelope and baby bison of South Dakota ... while here in the Northland, we're reminded of why he calls it the rainy season, and what was going on back around solstice time in June of 2012.

Stephanie Brown/Flickr

We've got daylight from 5:15am to 9:00pm this month, and from fireflies to songbirds to butterflies, dragon flies, frogs, wildflowers and trees, Mother Nature is taking advantage of every single second.

Seabamirium [via Flickr]

Larry Weber is an educator, author and naturalist and he joins us every Friday for Backyard Almanac.

Less than a month ago, there was still ice and snow on the ground.

Which means, despite a weekend forecast of mid to upper 80s, the season for spring ephemerals is a little more ephemeral than usual.

green heron: Tommy P. World/Flickr, sora: Becky Matsubara/Flickr, bittern: cuatrok77/Flickr

Who woulda thunk, in the midst of the April 15 blizzard, that a month later we'd hit a record-breaking 88 degrees?

In fact, who woulda thunk on Wednesday that we'd plummet from 88 to 52 by Thursday?

Yup.  It's May in the Northland.

Susan Worner [via Flickr]

Naturalist larry Weber observes that following the 5th coldest April on record we moved into a warm start to May, then colder again.  Some much needed rain finally arrived (not much, but a good start), and many plants and blooms are beginning to emerge.  We've now reached over 15 hours of daylight.  Frogs and turtles are awakening, and many birds are returning.

©MN Department of Natural Resources

April left and took the snow with her, says Larry Weber.

But the lack of moisture in many spots, plus the breezy conditions, means a high fire danger.

Larry Weber with a wrap up of April stats (three times as much snow, but precipitation still below normal), the migrants who've shown up just in the last week, and happy news on the frog front.

©Tone Coughlin Photography. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

The first half of April ended in a most dramatic fashion: record-breaking (low) temperatures, high winds, crashing waves and a record snowfall.

And while it certainly wasn't appreciated by everyone, Larry Weber says it was still fascinating.

Northlanders rejoiced when we hit an official high temperature of 47 degrees Wednesday.

Trouble is, that's supposed to be the average temperature for this time of year.

Mumes World/Flickr

How does that meme on Facebook go?

"April showers bring snow plowers"?

Leave it to Larry Weber to remind us just how important these April snows are.

Torn between longing for signs of spring and the excitement of a winter snowstorm, Northlanders can find a little something to make everyone happy.

Larry Weber returns from his peregrinations with a look into the future at The Spring To Come ... and marvels at February: it's only the second time in 40 years that it's been the snowiest month!

©Sparky Stensaas. Used with permission.

Two years ago at this time, the Northland was bracing for a foot of snow.  29 years ago, it was -12 in Duluth.

We're looking at temps in the 40s and 50s this weekend; perfect time to scout out some Gray Jays building nests or watching Red Crossbills enjoying this year's bumper crop of pine cones.

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