Sunday, March 21, 2010

Early taste of late spring

When I went outside Friday and yesterday, I had to remind myself repeatedly that this is the second half of March, not the second half of April or even the first half of May. The temperature was around 70 Fahrenheit (21 Celsius), which is quite a bit warmer than we would normally expect for March, which is a month where we can normally expect temperatures a good 15 or 20 degrees Fahrenheit (about 10 degrees Celsius) cooler. The preceding several days were not as warm, but still warmer than average.

Plants are clearly responding to this unusually early coming of warm springtime weather. Normally, I can expect to see crocus coming up at the very end of March or beginning of April, and the daffodils and tulips following shortly in early to mid April - though only the crocus blooms almost immediately after appearing. Yesterday, though:

Crocus - already blooming!



And it isn't just the bulbs that seem are responding to the early warmth:

Some shrub - maybe some kind of honeysuckle?

The only snow I saw on a 3-mile walk was one pile of very dirty snow next to a school parking lot that had managed to hold out against over two weeks of rain and mainly above freezing temperatures:

Holdout snow pile, which is probably noticeably smaller today

Still, if you look really close at some of the trees in the background, you can see a slight tinge of red on some of them. That's a sign that they are red maples and that their first red flower buds are getting close to opening - probably some 2-3 weeks earlier than in an average year.

Now, what I'm really hoping for is that we don't get any long cold spells for the rest of the spring. Some plants can endure some real cold after they start growing leaves and flowers for the spring, others can't, and the latter will depend on the rest of the spring being free from serious cold spells.

I walked down a road that I haven't walked since last summer, and so from my point of view the plants weren't the only things that had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. A new building had risen from ground that supported only trees last year:

I could be wrong, but this building doesn't look like it will be particularly attractive
when finished. I'm not sure what it's going to be - the area around it is entirely residential, but it looks
more like a small office building to me.

Well, it's cooler today, but still pretty warm. By late in the week, it's supposed to be getting down to near freezing at night. Hopefully it won't stay much colder than that for an extended period of time. Also, even if the spring temperatures decide to act like this is Georgia or something - the summer temperatures had better not act like this is Georgia! Part of the bargain of living in a northern state, IMHO, is that you accept a colder and longer winter in return for not having to endure as long or as hot a summer.

No comments: