The Seasons Aren’t What They Used to Be by David George Haskell, The New York Times (3/17/2017)

SEWANEE, Tenn. — Sexual energies were loosed early this year in Tennessee, then quashed. In February, spring peepers made my ears ring as I walked through wetlands east of Nashville’s honky-tonks. These frogs were a month ahead of their normal schedule.

But what is normal in a year when the calendar says spring starts Monday, yet the season started weeks earlier for plants and animals? When New York was clipped by a snowstorm last Tuesday, the streets had already been dusted with pollen from early-blooming red maples.

Spring has been particularly hasty and irregular this year, but this is no anomaly. In the latter half of the 20th century, the spring emergence of leaves, frogs, birds and flowers advanced in the Northern Hemisphere by 2.8 days per decade. I’m nearly 50, so springtime has moved, on average, a full two weeks since I was born. And you? We now experience climate change not only through the abstractions of science, but also through lived experience. Continue reading the main story

Spring arrives (early) in Ohio

Corneliancherry dogwood in full bloom

Corneliancherry dogwood (Cornus mas) in full bloom in Wooster (3/4/2017)

According to the USGS, spring is arriving about 3 weeks early this year! That figures, because I already feel about 3 weeks behind. Fortunately, we’ve decided to move back our annual OSU Phenology Garden Network update to April 27th so in a way I’m right on time!

We’re switching things up a bit this year, with a later date to meet, a slight change in location, and some new plants for cooperators (you!) and Network Gardens.

What: 2017 OSU Phenology Garden Network Update

When: April 27, 2017, 9:30AM to 4:00PM

Where: Miller Pavillion, Secrest Arboretum

Who: All Network cooperators are invited to attend, new and experienced alike.

Topics for the day:

  • Network data update (perennials and pollinators)
  • About our new Network plants
  • New phenology projects that need you: red maple, English ivy, Ohio pollinator plants
  • A Bee phenology and ID refresher
  • An arboretum walk with Joe Cochran for experienced cooperators
  • Intro to phenology with Denise for new cooperators
  • Plus, Dan Herms (on Phenology-Sabbatical this year!) will cap off our day with a phenology walk.

What you’ll get: besides a chance to learn and network with fellow phenology fans, everyone will go home with a wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium), as a thank you for your phenology work!

What your garden could get: for those gardens interested, we’re expanding to offer 4 new perennials and 6 new shrubs (baby small this year). We’re adding 4 new plants to our native perennials, including wild quinine, New England aster, liatris and swamp milkweed. We’re also starting a new project to study pollinator visitation on 3 native shrub straight species vs. cultivars, including buttonbush, fothergilla and elderberry. Data won’t be collected on any of these plants until at least 2018 (and possibly 2019 for the baby shrubs).

What to bring: Your lunch! We’ll have coffee and morning refreshments, but are asking you to bring your lunch this year. We do have access to a refrigerator if needed.

What else? No fee to attend, but please register here so we can plan accordingly.

We hope to see you in Secrest Arboretum in Wooster!


Read more from USGS about our accelerated spring:

Get your flip-flops and shorts out because spring is arriving very early this year . . . at least 2-3 weeks early across almost the entire Southeast, from San Antonio to Atlanta to Washington, D.C.  This unusually early spring is likely to keep rolling north, already bringing surprising signs of spring to portions of the central Midwest and northeastern states. Full press release here.