for those of us who live on northern lakes, there are two important days of every year. they are ice-over and ice-out. ice-over means we will soon be able to skate and play hockey. ice out means we will soon be able to fish and swim. each one is anxiously awaited, with much speculating, for many weeks prior to the big event. on our lake, we have data on these two events going back to 1947, 70 years. yesterday was ice-out day on turtle lake. it’s four weeks earlier than the seventy-year average and a new record. similarly, for someone who has been photographing the natural phenology of their immediate environment for over five years, it is immediately apparent that these pussy willows are ahead of their regularly scheduled time. a quick search of my STILL archive tells me these reliable signs of early spring are currently 3-4 weeks early. for years i have been saying to my husband “if only winter were one month shorter”. all i can say now is…careful what you ask for.
st. paul, minnesota