Retired teacher Larry Weber is the author of several books, including “Butterflies of the North Woods,” “Spiders of the North Woods,” “Webwood” and “In a Patch of Goldenrods.” Contact him c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.
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February, following the trend of December and January, has been colder than normal. The cold, though not record-setting, has been consistent and subzero has almost become the norm. February has also been clear and we’ve had plenty of sunlight to go with the chill. Indeed, these clear days of this month can give the impression of being much warmer than they really are. On Feb. 8, we reached a time in the diurnal cycle of 10 hours of daylight. Despite the cold, the earlier sunrises each day added to the later sunsets, makes daily light rapidly increase.
It’s been more than 70 days since we first received a snowfall that covered the ground. This introductory snow at Thanksgiving time was followed a week later, in early December, by a heavy coat.
The winter solstice, the first day of winter, was on Dec. 21. The vernal equinox, the first day of spring, will be on March 20. As we travel through this winter, by the time we are in early February, we are halfway into the cold season. And what a winter it has been so far! There have been colder Decembers than we had in 2013. There have been colder Januaries than that we just exited in 2014.