This winter seems to be extra long to me, for some reason. I had a feeling it would, after last year's dream winter. It was a warm one, as winters here go, and spring arrived early. That's a tough act to follow.
We didn't have a January thaw this year. It's the middle of February now and we still haven't had it, in fact, last week we had the coldest temperatures of the season, dipping below 0°F for a few days. But we're on the rise now, with the forecast for Thursday for a high of 56°F! I don't even wear a coat when it's that warm.
I can imagine it now - the birds will be giddy and chirping a "Here comes spring!" chorus, the air will have a fresh earthy fragrance to it, and the sun will actually feel warm as it shines on my face. In the distance, the trickle of melting snow will be heard as it runs off the fields into the creek. I'll venture out in my Wellies to see if I can find snowdrops, crocus, or hopefully, the witch hazel in bloom.
|Witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) in late winter, 2010|
Already, the conservatory is benefiting from solar heating, enough that the propane heater doesn't even come on during the day now. Temperatures hover around 80°F on these sunny days and the many tropical plants housed there love it.
But this is The Teaser Season. 56° on Thursday is enough to make us come down with spring fever, with its glimpse of warmer days. It will energize us and we'll long for the time it will consistently be as warm and sunny and then some. But we know, even as we love and welcome a few nice days, that Mother Nature can slap us back to reality with snow and frigid temperatures again.
|Hoarfrost on Washington hawthorn berries|
I remember, as we drove to Chicago last year to attend the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, we saw our first red-winged blackbird of the season. That's a true harbinger of spring for us in this part of the country and this year's show is a mere 17 days away. Even remembering that spring came early, I'll be watching the fence rows and ditch weeds for them again this year.
So, I'll take those teaser days, Mother Nature, whenever you choose to dole them out to us. We deserve them after having to endure this thing you call winter.