Friday, February 27, 2015

More daylight brings melting, mud, and maples

Yesterday we shared with you the Phenology Checklist from the Annanberg Learner Journey North web site. The first set of questions has to do with how much our photoperiod (daylight) increases each month from January 20 through May 20. For our local neighborhood, it looks like this:


So, on average we gain just a little more than an hour of daylight per month, or about two minutes a day. From my now vague recollections of grammar school days, I recall learning that the days got longer in the Spring and shorter in the Autumn. I don't remember learning anything about how much per day or month. I find it's more satisfying to know it's about a minute in the morning and another in the evening than to just grasp the general concept.

melting at the dark edges
melting at the dark edges
Photo by J. Harrington

The local road is starting to absorb some warmth from the sun and melt ice and snow patches at their edges, even though the temperature is staying well below freezing. If I'm not careful, I could start to get encouraged. There's a local sugarbush or two about 15 or 20 miles from here. This weekend might be a good time to see if they've got their buckets hung yet. Sap might start flowing in the next few weeks.

[the snow is melting]

By Kobayashi Issa
Translated By Robert Hass 

The snow is melting
and the village is flooded
      with children.


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