Backyard Almanac

Phenology with local naturalist Larry Weber every Friday morning at 8:20 on Northland Morning. Have a question for Larry Weber? Email us and you might hear his answer on the show!

 

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Michael Kensinger, Jeff Hahn

For the first time in 14 months - since February 2015 - we've had a month that's cooler than normal.

Ian Griffiths/Flickr

Frogs are calling, red maples are flowering, painted turtles are crowding logs to bask in the (scarce) sun ... 

and it's raining and cold.  Again.

Laurette.C/Flickr, Web MD LLC.

The first wildflowers are in bloom! Hepatica gets its name from the Greek hepar, for 'liver' referring to the shape of the leaves.  And of course it's an easy intellectual jump from there that the plant would be good for treating liver ailments.

Duck date: this photo was taken just after the mallard drake showcased one of his smooth moves for the hen.  Larry says unique courtship displays help prevent cross-species breeding: who woulda thunk it?

Seabrooke Leckie/Flickr

Larry Weber says the brakes Mother Nature put on spring so far this month are a three-part blessing:

1) the snow lessens the danger of fire, which is usually a problem in April

2) the snow slows down the ticks, which also begin to create problems in April

3) the wet snows create a lot of moisture which flows into vernal ponds, making frogs - and Larry - very happy!

Fyn Kynd Photography/Flickr

Eric Chandler sits in for Larry this week with a story about three generations enjoying the songs of the woodcock at dusk ... and hanging out with dad.

©Carol Andrews

Charged with subbing for Larry Weber this week, Carol Andrews* got out and took a walk before sunrise (see photo).  She's got the scoop on the furred, the feathered and the phenological this morning.

©lisa johnson/Thorsburg Photography

Last Saturday's 60 degrees at the National Weather Service was a record high temperature for March 12 ... 

and this past week's snow/rain/slush event set a record for precipitation.  The 1 1/2 inches of moisture we saw on Wednesday is more than is usual for the entire month of March! 

amazingpict.com

Larry Weber says a 60 degree weekend in March is kinda like a box of chocolates: 

it's no diet for the long run, but it is a lovely treat once in a while.

imgflip.com

Snow today ... sunshine tomorrow ... and thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday.  Larry Weber on March in the Northland.

This weekend's forecast calls for sunny skies and 45 degrees on Saturday ... and clouds, a 50/50 chance of snow and a high of 20 on Sunday.

And that, says Larry Weber, is March in a nutshell.

born1945 [via Flickr (modified)]

  The unseasonably warm few days we've had are in stark contrast to last week's 4-day stretch with sub-zero temps reported.  Though it did not get below freezing last night in many places in the region, Larry Weber points out that we are still a month away from the vernal equinox.  Hence, he has coined the term "pseudo-spring" for this unusual turn of events.

©lisa johnson/Thorsburg Photography

While romance is in the pre-Valentine's air for wild canids ... these two Pileated Woodpeckers are just having a nice dinner together.

Snowshoe hares and squirrels are dancing; foxes, wolves and coyotes are singing ... and as always, Larry Weber is the head cheerleader.

©2011 Pupparazzi-Companion Animal Photography

We're celebrating the 20th anniversary of -60 below in Tower, MN this coming week!

JLS Photography - Alaska/Flickr

Don't let them begin the benign, let it snow

Let the clippers of winter dip south and begin to deep-freeze me

Let the windchills that stuttered my heart continue to seize me

And we suddenly know, it's El Nino we're in

When they begin the benign....

(with apologies to Cole Porter)

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