April

Sabishī/Flickr

If Larry has one piece of advice as April warms into May, it's: take a walk.  Every. Single. Day.

Fyn Kynd/Flickr

Welcome to Win-sprin, that strange little time of year between the melting of the snow and the greening of the forest floor.

Charles (Chuck) Peterson/Flickr

March 2021 will appear on the books as a little warmer than "normal": closer to 34° than 26°.  The precipitation is above normal not only for the month but for 2021 as a whole so far, and the only "below normal" is snowfall. Larry's quick to remind us, though, that in April of 2013, we got 51" of snow!

In other news, a cloudy, 25°-ish day with no wind, might not seem too exciting, but that's only if you're looking, and not listening.

Casper Johansson/Unsplash

The low humidity and high winds forecast for today and tomorrow have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Fire Weather Watch for the area.

Before the rain moves in on Sunday, the minimum RH dropping below 15 percent today combined with winds gusting to 20 mph today and over 35 mph on Saturday will cause near-critical fire weather conditions today and possibly exceeding critical fire weather conditions on Saturday.

©John P. Richardson. Used with permission.

Tra la, it's May, the lusty month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray

Tra la, it's here, that shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear

It's mad, it's gay, a libelous display
Those dreary vows that everyone takes
Everyone breaks
Everyone makes divine mistakes
The lusty month of May!

~ Frederick Loewe & Alan Jay Lerner, "Camelot"

Susanne Nilsson/Flickr

This final episode of Backyard Almanac for April reveals so far, the month was cooler, drier, and less snowy than uual.

We're seeing upwards of 14 hours of daylight these days,  ice is out (as are bumblebee queens), warblers are back and hepatica is up.

Allaboutbirds.org/Cornell Lab of Ornithology

April is in the rear view mirror and Larry Weber says was "as normal as possible"; that is, except for a couple of strange sightings at his feeder this week.

More about Ruby-crowned Kinglets here and Redpolls here.

©Lisa Johnson

There's that time at the end of November where everything freezes up rock-hard and you know the deep freeze of winter has begun.

Then there is that time in the spring where all the ice lets go and everthing opens up.

This is then.

Read more about Larry Weber's book, Web Watching: A Guide to Webs and the Spiders That Make Them, and the award it won for Sparky Stensaas' Stone Ridge Press here.

©Lisa Johnson

Larry Weber and the National Weather Service agree: it's a "nice healthy melt" in the Northland for the most part.

But April, he reminds us, is not just a month of floods; since nothing is really greened-up yet,  it can also be a month of fire danger.

(Speaking of phenology, here's what we were talking about on Backyard Almanac last year at this time!)

Callum Wale on Unsplash

Our first-half-of-the-month-bears-no-resemblance-to-the-second-half-of-the-month pattern continues, with March setting a record of -19 at the onset and ending up with an average temperature in the 30s.

Will April be any less erratic?

Probably not.

In 2013, we had 51" (that's fifty-one INCHES) of snow in April; in 2010, we had NO snow in April, and in 1952, the National Weather Service says we hit a record high of 88 degrees April 27th.

Stephanie Brown/Flickr

We've got daylight from 5:15am to 9:00pm this month, and from fireflies to songbirds to butterflies, dragon flies, frogs, wildflowers and trees, Mother Nature is taking advantage of every single second.

green heron: Tommy P. World/Flickr, sora: Becky Matsubara/Flickr, bittern: cuatrok77/Flickr

Who woulda thunk, in the midst of the April 15 blizzard, that a month later we'd hit a record-breaking 88 degrees?

In fact, who woulda thunk on Wednesday that we'd plummet from 88 to 52 by Thursday?

Yup.  It's May in the Northland.

Larry Weber with a wrap up of April stats (three times as much snow, but precipitation still below normal), the migrants who've shown up just in the last week, and happy news on the frog front.

Northlanders rejoiced when we hit an official high temperature of 47 degrees Wednesday.

Trouble is, that's supposed to be the average temperature for this time of year.

Mumes World/Flickr

How does that meme on Facebook go?

"April showers bring snow plowers"?

Leave it to Larry Weber to remind us just how important these April snows are.

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