Notes From The Field: Early Mountain Spring

It is an early spring at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) in Gothic, Colorado. On April 10, 2015, we recorded flowers in David Inouye’s long-term phenology plots 12 days earlier than they have ever been recorded in 42 years (the previous record was set in 2012). It has been a warm and dry winter around here, which likely has lead to the early spring. Spring flowers and bumble bees are up in the earliest-melting areas, but we are continuing to get below-freezing and snowy weather. These conditions don’t seem ideal for them. Some biologists at the RMBL are investigating the consequences for organisms of these early springs, which recently seem to be occurring more frequently. East River Valley Claytonia lanceolataIMG_0150  Bellview with fresh spring snow