Phenology Files: February 2021

Our first full month of collecting phenology observations was a busy one! Just as we were starting to enjoy blue skies and buds appearing at the Lyre Conservation Area, a mid-February snowfall event covered everything up. It was easy to imagine that we were right back to mid-winter (blame the groundhog!), but the snow didn’t last for long, and early signs of spring became apparent once again. Reported phenology observations this month include:

  • red flowering current leafing out at the Lyre Conservation Area
  • osoberry shrub leafing out at the Siebert Creek Conservation Area and in the Elwha Valley (and all over the place, really!)
  • palmate coltsfoot pushing up through the sand along Madison Creek in the Elwha Valley
  • skunk cabbage blooming in the Elwha River Valley and on the east side of Port Angeles
  • salmonberry flowering in the former Lake Aldwell lakebed
  • willow catkins at the mouth of the Elwha River
  • a woolly bear caterpillar at the mouth of the Elwha River

In addition to these wild plants, garden bulbs are emerging from the ground – and others, like the snow drops, are flowering.

What are you looking forward to next? Here at the Land Trust, Land Protection Specialist Michele Canale has reminded us that Rufous hummingbirds return to our region in late March or early April… we can’t wait to spot these delightful birds flitting about!

We encourage you to take photos of what you see (or hear, or smell, or feel) happening out on the land. Whether you are hiking, surfing, birdwatching, gardening, or walking your dog, YOU are the best source of information on the land you love. You might try recording your observations in an app (such as iNaturalist or eBird) and we hope you will also share them with us!

Facebook: tag @NorthOlympicLandTrust, use hashtag #phenologyfiles

Instagram: tag @northolympiclandtrust, use hashtag #phenologyfiles

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