Early signs of spring

March 12, 2019

How do the plants and animals know that spring is on the way?

By Joel Hecht, Stewardship Director

With snow on the ground and nighttime temperatures still dipping into the single digits it can be hard to believe that spring will ever arrive.  And yet, every year, like clockwork, spring arrives on time in Albany NY and the pine bush.  One clue to spring is the length of daylight increasing each day.  Between December 16 and 27 we experienced the shortest amount of sunlight at 9 hours 3 minutes each day.  The longest amount of sunlight in 2019 will occur between June 16 and 26 when there will be 15 hours and 19 minutes of sunlight each day.  The month of March averages 11-12 hours of daylight.  In the pine bush this increase in hours of light begins to signal plants and animals that spring is not far away.  The increasing warmth begins to wake hibernating animals like groundhogs, frogs and many insects.  Birds start to sing and prepare for nesting.  Plants begin to move nutrients and water upward in anticipation of spring growth.  All of this because the daylight is getting longer.  

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