Two years ago I first showed you this picture of sugar maple trees being tapped for sap here in Glen Rock. The photo was taken on March 10. This year, unless that family’s already begun tapping their trees, they’re missing a lot of sap. Because of the very mild winter the season started early this year–in December in some places and by February 1 almost everywhere. In contrast, the sap usually begins running in late February or early March, because sap production depends on cold nights and warm days. Could be El Niño, could be climate change, could be many things, but this winter is just plain strange.
Skunk cabbage is already up; look for it in wet places; look for pussy willow, native hazelnut, and spicebush to bloom quite soon.