Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Phenology: March 7, 2011

Posted by Kirk
Snowy Good Morning!

Here's your phenology roundup for the week. Sunrise this morning was at 6:40 AM and the sun will set at 6:08 PM. We're up to eleven hours, twenty-seven minutes and thirty-five seconds of daylight. We're gaining just a little more than three minutes per day.

As with all of these phenology reports, these times are for St. Paul, MN. The further north or south you go, the length of daylight changes. Today in New Orleans, which is approximately due south of here, there will be eleven hours and forty-three minutes of sunlight. That's sixteen more minutes of sunlight. They also are only gaining a little under two minutes of sunlight each day while we gain more than three.

This last week started out so cold and gray I was wondering why on Earth any of us live here. On Tuesday things warmed up a bit. It was sunny and the cardinals were calling when I left for work in the morning. Reports also started to come in of migrators such as geese moving north in the southern most united states. This is confirmed on radar.

Wednesday we dipped back into the icebox. It was cold but March cold. The sun is higher in the sky and keeps you feeling warmer as long as the wind isn't blowing, which it wasn't on Wednesday.

On Thursday,
More snow! Well, only a trace actually. There has been speculation as to whether or not we're on track to meet or break the record for the snowiest winter in Minnesota history. This brings up an interesting point. Come on people, we've gotten a lot of snow but not THAT much. We like to think of ourselves as this winter paradise but we really don't get all that much snow. Sure, we've had a snowy winter but did it really seem record breaking? We need to face the fact that we don't really live in all that snowy a state.

While I taught on Thursday, some of the 5th graders excitedly pointed out the window. I figured they were watching the squirrels at the bird feeders. To my surprise, they were pointing at a coyote. I had the entire class come to the window to watch as a lone coyote walked the length of the bog you can see out the classroom windows. We got a great view, he was maybe 100 feet or so away and didn't seem to notice us.

I taught Environmental Monitoring all day Friday and even though it wasn't sunny out it was a beautiful day.

On Saturday I walked the dog and noted Cardinals singing pretty much all day long.

Sunday evening the snow started again and it kept snowing on and off through this morning. All told in the Twin Cities it only added up to a few inches.

This next week keep your ears and eyes open for more signs of spring. Depending on the weather, the maple trees could start their sap run this week. I know we'll be tapping trees out at work toward the end of the week. There are numerous reports of cooing mourning doves in the state and at least one report of Sandhill Cranes.

What are you seeing?