Mother Nature is sending us mixed signals this year as we enter the late weeks of February. While the calendar says it’s still winter, the plants and animals around us are saying otherwise. The fish, for one, seem to have missed the memo and are showing up in places they shouldn’t be right now. Take the endangered Right Whale, for instance. Instead of wintering off the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, a large pod has been spotted in Cape Cod Bay for the past month. The wild rockfish, which should still be biding their time in the ocean off of Virginia Beach until early March, have been swimming in the Chesapeake Bay since early January, ready to spawn.
Even the yellow perch, who usually lay their eggs in March, started their spawning rituals weeks ago. If that wasn’t enough, the dogwoods are likely to bloom way earlier than usual, which means the American shad run in the Susquehanna River will peak a month ahead of its usual time. It’s a confusing time for sure, but it’s also a reminder that the natural world is full of surprises, and we should always be ready to adapt and embrace the unexpected.