This week's phenology report is brought to you by Edwin and the students of Great River School in St. Paul. 

Spring arrived during our trip to Long Lake Conservation Center this week. The temperature topped 50 degrees for the first time this year and lots and lots of snow is melting. We even had our first rain of the season on Wednesday. Signs of spring were everywhere. There was a hole in the lake and we saw a tadpole. It’s the first one of the year. We thought it was a Wood Frog tadpole, but upon closer examination we’re pretty sure it will develop into a Green Frog or maybe a Leopard Frog. Geese and Trumpeter Swans were spotted flying overhead in a v-formation over the lake. Welcome back! We missed you. A Ruffed Grouse was sunning itself in a tree. It thought it was camouflaged but we all could clearly see it. The cattails look like they’re molting. Enough snow melted that we could see some grass and it’s ALREADY starting to look green. The moss on the trees in also turning greener. The sun woke up the Asian Beetles and one of our groups saw what we think was a Winter Crane Fly. At least it wasn’t a mosquito. We also saw a spider living in a hole in a tree. Our group saw Pileated, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Bald Eagles, Chickadees and Nuthatches. The biggest bird news is we that heard a Robin, but didn’t see it. We spied lots of tracks in the snow, including deer, mouse and rabbit. Under the full moon at night we saw a group of deer walking across the lake. The squirrels were very busy and have begun chasing each other - the beginning of their spring courtship. Our classes tapped maple trees, but the sap isn’t running yet. With temperatures above freezing during the day and below freezing at night, we suspect the sap will start flowing within the week. Spring weather is finally here and we want to remind everyone to…LIVE CONNECTED.