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Ambiguous Spring Puzzles Humans and Stirs Wildlife January 13, 2012
Cherry blossom near London
A cherry blossom emerging near London, England, on January 10, 2012.
Whether it’s due to a winter that never came, an early spring or the arrival of a false spring, nature across some parts of the U.K. is showing signs that usually don’t emerge for another two months.

Cherry blossoms are popping out around London and several species of animals have not gone into their typical hibernation.

Most mornings this January have been filled with the sounds of birds and other creatures doing things not expected during this usually bleak time of year.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is telling those wondering why there are no birds visiting their backyard feeders that they are probably out feeding on the plentiful insects still available in the wild.

But not everyone is convinced that wildlife is reacting to an early spring.

“It's almost in limbo: waiting for winter to happen, and it hasn't quite happened yet,” said David Paynter at the
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s Slimbridge reserve in Gloucestershire, speaking to The Guardian.

The National Trust points out that 2011 produced the earliest spring this century, a late and hot Indian summer that lingered into late December.

Photo: Dana Evans