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Marilylle Soveran / Flickr Creative Commons

Today, February 14, is the first day of early spring throughout the Lower Midwest. Although temperatures can be in the 30s almost half the time or even in the 20s, February 14th suddenly offers a 50 percent chance of highs above 40 degrees.

And tomorrow, the 15th has the highest incidence of highs in the 50s and 60s of any time so far in February - a full 40 percent of the afternoons reach those levels. That’s the first time since December 15th that the likelihood of mild temperatures has been so great.

Billtacular / Flickr Creative Commons

The Great Antioch Circus is at UD Arena Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is their 75th visit to Dayton so come on out and see the show!

brambleroots / Flickr Creative Commons

Since I came to southwestern Ohio in the late 1970s, I have recorded the dates for many of the earliest snows. There is no scientific method here, but rather a shaping of personal context.

The earliest flurries fell on October 5 of 2014. The first snow of almost half a foot came on October 30 of 1993. On November 11, 1984, I made the first snowball of the winter. This year the first snow, about four inches, arrived on December 13. The latest first snow came on December 31, 1998.

Got cabin fever? Tonight at 7:30 pm, at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center they are providing the 1970 musical romantic comedy, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. There is no cost and it includes an introduction to the film, café style seating, popcorn, and soft drinks.

Garry Knight / Flickr Creative Commons

The 2016 presidential campaign often focused on immigration issues, but there was very little talk about energy or climate change.  Sustainability commentator Bob Brecha thinks we should be talking about all of these issues, and tying them together when trying to come up with solutions.

Henry T. McLin / Flickr Creative Commons

I walk toward the wetlands near my house, cardinals keeping me company.  I reach the swamp that is still frozen over in some places, and I am to free to walk where I want, right up to the clusters of sleek, plump skunk cabbage, red and orange speckled, in the open rivulets, nestled in the cress.

More cardinals sing up the ridge and farther down along the river. I hear a blue jay, and the call of a pileated woodpecker. Here in the swamp, in spite of the cold wind and the gray sky and ice, I feel untouched by winter.

Come see what Dayton's local breweries and distilleries have to offer. Featuring Belle of Dayton Distillery, Buckeye Distillery, Buckeye Vodka, and many others!  A TICKET INCLUDES A SAMPLING GLASS AND 10 TASTES! Small plates and snacks available for purchase. Friday, 6:00PM,  at Wintergarden - Schuster Center

Karen Blaha / Flickr Creative Commons

Winter’s third phase, late winter, is the vestibule to early spring, rousing small mammals to courtship and growing the cardinal mating songs.   As the birds call out the end of deepest winter, Lenten roses (hellebores) bloom in the most sheltered microclimates. Among the earliest flowers to blossom, the Lenten rose prophesies precocious aconites and snowdrops, snow crocus and soft violet henbit. Maple sap runs when hellebores bloom, and most of the nation's lambs and kids are born.

On Saturday, at 10:30am the SunWatch Winter Lecture Series is having a presentation about a World War II prisoner of war camp in northernmost Norway. The labor camp for Soviet prisoners was established in 1942 and in late fall 1944 the camp, the coastal fort, and the local Norwegian hamlet were abandoned and destroyed.

Mikael Wiman / Flickr Creative Commons

The Sun enters its sign of Aquarius on the 20th, bringing in the last days of deepest winter. Even though the mornings are still so dark, the days are more than a quarter hour longer than they were at Christmas time!

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