Thursday, April 18, 2013

Strange Weather

I am thinking about this spring, and how odd it has been. Coltsfoot, that early warning flower that tells us spring is around the corner, usually blooms in late February in my region; it is soon followed by wild plum, with wild cherry quickly following along. The pear tree is usually blooming in late March with the forsythia and daffodils.

This year none of that happened. Here we are in mid-April and still waiting for the apple trees, redbud and dogwood to burst forth. I'm not complaining, I'm just thinking it's....strange.

Last summer after the derecho my asparagus suddenly sent up new shoots. These plants were done for the year, or so I thought, but in late July we had a surprise crop of new asparagus. The amaryllis, which usually only blooms in the winter because I follow the instructions for its care to make that happen, also sent up new blossoms after that terrible storm. And the peppermint, died back completely instead of continuing on to its blossom stage.

All of which makes me wonder: has the weather, and the plants' reaction to it, always been this out-of-whack and I just never noticed? Have I come to expect certain things of nature because that's that way it's always been, or is nature getting a little wild these days and the "usual" patterns becoming disrupted and confusing?

Like many other people, I used to give that knowing smile when old-timers talked about weather and how bad it was back when. Now I'm an old-timer myself--rather surprising, that--and I find myself harking back to what was and comparing what is to my memories of the past. I understand now the mystification of the older ones at some of the changes they could not comprehend. While I can hang on by my toenails to social change (and don't really care if I get behind the times) nature has me bumfuzzled. She's being, at least in my view, mighty tempermental and unreliable.

I am hoping to hear the whippoorwill soon; at least then I can feel fairly sure that freezing weather is past. The redwing blackbird is back, but the snowbirds are hanging on and that makes me nervous. The oaks are leafing out too, and when their leaves are the size of squirrels' ears it is supposed to be safe to plant corn. But with the oddities of the spring weather so far, I am wondering if even these ancient souls can be trusted.

Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

3 comments:

Rowan said...

The weather in UK has been just as odd - our coltsfoot, celandines, wood anenomes etc all bloom early March normally and have just come out this wek. There are no leaves on the trees yet and no fruit blossom and only this last few days has the daytime temperature made it into double figures. At the moment we have a wild wind blowing - just the sort we usually get in March. I think perhaps we are seeing a long term change in the climate. On the other hand the last few years Spring has been getting earlier and earlier - maybe things are just getting back to normal!

Michelle said...

In just the past few days have I noticed any redbuds blooming. Our pear trees (old and hardy) have just now shown blooms. Everything is late this year. It is strange.

Sue said...

The weather is definitely odd for the past couple of years. Another odd thing I've noticed is that illnesses are getting less seasonal. It used to be that my kids were never sick in the spring and summer except with stomach flu, which was never caught in the winter.

Now, people get colds in spring and summer sometimes and stomach flu in the winter.

What's up with that?

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