Spring is Springing

Here in southeast Michigan (and indeed in much of the country) we’ve experienced one of the warmest winters on record.  Even though spring doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, for over a week it’s been more like May than March.  Our average highs are around 47 F for this time of year, but we’re about to set a record for the most March days above 60 F. The 70s have been the norm, and we’ve had several days above 80.  This Wednesday we may reach 86.

With the warmth and the sun it’s no surprise that many plants, insects, and other animals have been reawakening.  As always, daffodils (Narcissus sp., Amaryllidaceae) were my first garden plants to emerge and subsequently flower:

Daffodils (Narcissus sp., Amaryllidaceae) photographed 03/17/2012 near Palmyra Michigan.

Hot on their heels have been daylilies (Hemerocallis sp., Xanthorrhoeaceae)…

Daylily (Hemerocallis sp., Xanthorrhoeaceae) photographed 03/17/2012 near Palmyra Michigan.

catnip (Nepeta cataria, Lamiaceae)…

Catnip (Nepeta cataria, Lamiaceae) photographed 03/17/2012 near Palmyra Michigan.

…and strawberries (Fragaria sp., Rosaceae):

Strawberry (Fragaria sp., Rosaceae) photographed 03/17/2012 near Palmyra Michigan.

My riverbank grape (Vitis riparia, Vitaceae) also started to transpire, pulling water through the vines and dripping it from the ends of the shoots.  In one spot water was collecting on the ground, and an American toad (Bufo americanus, Bufonidae) was taking advantage of the moist oasis:

American toad (Bufo americanus, Bufonidae) photographed 03/17/2012 near Palmyra Michigan.

In the last few days the calls from these toads have started to drown out the calls from the spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer, Hylidae) that first appeared a week ago.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Vertebrate Zoology, Weather and Climate and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Spring is Springing

  1. Mrs. Weber says:

    Wow, love your nature knowledge here! Daffodils were the first flower to spring in my garden as well. I only wished they lasted longer — they are the happiest little flowers ever!

    Thanks for linking up to My Michigan Memory 🙂

    Like

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