A crocus greeted me when I walked out the side door. Normally, I enjoy seeing crocuses, an early sign of spring. But I am somewhat disturbed by signs of spring the first week of January.
While watering the potted pansies out back, I noticed green shoots of daffodils poking up through the leaves. Again, I was more dismayed than excited. The daffodils are the Ice Follies variety that bloom in early to mid-spring. Has this winter been so warm that the plants are fooled? It was 70 degrees yesterday.
The neighbors' Japanese quince has begun blooming.
I hear that the winter in Maine has been so mild that people are still playing golf and snowmobilers are upset by the lack of snow. In Florida at Christmas we experienced near-record warmth, with highs in the low 80s. I didn't complain, but I do wonder. Where is winter?
On December 9, I took this photo of a Prunus mume in bloom at the Coker Arboretum. I haven't had a chance to check back to see if the blooms got nipped when the temperature briefly dipped below freezing, but I have noticed other Japanese apricots in bloom in town.
Could this be another sign of global warming? Yes, I know that we cannot draw firm conclusions from one season of unseasonable weather. But it seems that we've been having many, many seasons of unseasonably warm weather. I trust plants (and my senses) far more than politicians.
Has your winter been unusually mild, too?