News - March 16, 2006

Late spring

Early spring, signalled by the blossoming of the Cornelian cherry dogwood, will end on 26 March this year, 39 days later than the average for the previous five years. The makers of the Natuurkalender (Nature Calendar), of the Environmental Systems Analysis group, made their prediction based on weather predictions and tens of thousands of observations collected in the last five years. They made an expectations model for blossoming of plants and the emergence of butterflies from their cocoons. Spring itself, characterised by flowering wood anemones, will not start until 10 April, according to the predictions. That is 18 days later than normal. Natuurkalender volunteers have reported almost no sightings of typical spring plants such as the Cornelian cherry dogwood, lesser celandine, coltsfoot and sweet violets, and butterflies such as the red admiral, brimstone, peacock and tortoiseshell butterflies, which had already been spotted by this time in the last five years. / MW