An Unusually Warm Spring
It’s the end of another sugaring season at Teatown, a sweet season that heralds in spring. We end winter with the pinging of sap into buckets, the peepers’ shrill calls, and begin spring as the male red-winged blackbirds return to Teatown Lake’s marshy edges.
This year, frog calls and blackbird songs happened almost simultaneously. Teatown has maintained sugaring records since 2001 with notations on the weather preceding the sugaring season, the start and end dates of the season and the amount of syrup produced. Beginning in 2006 our records indicate unseasonably warm pre-season temperatures, and from 2009 on, there are repeated exhortations in the notes to begin tapping earlier.
Traditionally at Teatown, we’ve tapped our maples right around President’s Day – the third Monday of February, and end the season at the end of the third week of March – about a 6 week season. Producers throughout the northeast are pushing sugaring seasons earlier and earlier, some beginning as early as January, to catch the first sap run due to the warming trends in our winter weather.
This is just one of many examples of a changing climate we observe right here at Teatown.
This article in the New York Times brings it all together – whether in the hills of Tennessee, or New York’s Hudson Valley, we are feeling the impacts of a changing climate in ways big and small.