Ok, so in astronomical terms, Spring won’t arrive until the March Equinox (Thursday 20th March).
But in ecological terms, we have passed the pre-vernal period (snowdrops & crocuses), the daylight has increased and we are seeing warmer day temperatures.
We may not be quite there yet in northern Europe but it’s good to feel the warmth of the sun again and to see early Spring flowers in bloom.
In recent decades, season creep has been observed by farmers,gardeners and scientists – phenology studies the onset of Spring creeping earlier.
Delightful as it may sound to have a shorter winter, the implications are not all positive – more favourable conditions for pests and invasive species, species mismatch can occur when insects are not available for certain birds, ie, one species adapts and the other does not, or plants do not flower at the optimum time for pollinators.
In 2012, the US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) revised the Plant Hardiness Zones, in response to these changes, changing the boundaries and moving most of them northward.
But today, I’m going to enjoy the feeling of Spring, I’ll listen to the birdsong and garden with the sun on my back… and be very content with that.