Depending on where you are in the United States, you might have noticed the warmer temperatures this year. The first day of Spring was March 20, 2023. But, according to Harry Stevens from The Washington Post, nature does not know what month of the calendar we are in but instead responds to the gradual accumulation of heat at the beginning of each year. When the daily average temperatures rise above freezing, this sends a signal to the plants and animals that life is again preparing to grow. On average this year, phenology stages of bud break were the earliest it has been in 40 years!