enjoy, with caution.

i am enjoying this 80 degree march (in the midwest) as much as everyone else, but it does bring many questions to mind, much like our record-setting warm winter (which i discussed here). i was asking allison about early blooming plants and she sent me this article on the impact of early blooms. i know i’m not the only one wondering about all the early signs of spring- i have had many passing mini-conversations with strangers about the early blooms and what that could mean for us, our environments (bugs, animals), planting, summer weather, etc. i hope you find some answers in the articles i share here!

something else to think about is all the bugs…read this article to learn more about worrisome ticks this season!

this was also quite helpful to read:

Most people consider the onset of spring and the growing season a good thing. But for nature, the trend toward earlier springs and the resulting lengthening of growing seasons may be too much of a good thing.

That’s because plants and animals are responding to early springs and longer summers in different ways and at different speeds. These varying responses are damaging the synchrony between creatures that depend on one another for their survival–sometimes with potentially disastrous consequences.

Some examples:

  • Some wildflowers that migratory hummingbirds eat in their summer ranges are flowering early–before the arrival of the hummingbirds. The hummingbirds are thereby being deprived of an important food source. If this trend continues, populations of the hummingbirds and the wildflowers could decline.
  • Some wildflowers are failing to produce seeds because they are now blooming early–before the springtime emergence of many bumble bee queens that would otherwise pollinate them.
  • The vulnerability of some flowers to frost damage is increasing because early snowmelts are encouraging them to develop buds before the last frost of spring occurs.
  • Millions of hectares of North American forests are being killed by record-breaking blights of bark beetles. Populations of bark beetles are increasing, in part, because: 1) longer summers extend the beetles’ reproductive season; and 2) warmer winters are enabling the beetles to survive what would otherwise be killing seasons.

Note that this was the fourth warmest meteorological winter on record across the contiguous United States and the warmest since 1999-2000, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

if you have further questions, please post them in the comments and i will try to get them answered for you!

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