January Thaw?

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Ever since I can remember there has been a brief period in the midst of winter when the temperature suddenly rises.  Snow melted to muddy puddles, icicles dripped from eaves, the slick of water on top of icy ponds reflected blue skies and everyone ran outdoors for fresh air before the cold shut us in again.  It was a welcome but brief respite from the winter just to remind us that in a few months the real spring would come warm us again.

But the thaw this year and last came after the barest kiss of winter.  Indeed, the grass that was revealed from melting snow is still green and I even saw a dandelion’s yellow bloom peeking out.  Not that I am complaining about these fifty degree days but it does feel a bit unearned.  And I wonder how the lack of winter will affect our wild things?  Already I notice the bluebirds are sticking around longer (saw a pair flying about just a few weeks ago) which means that there are still plenty of bugs about.  And while I love that I was able to dig herbs out from the snow to flavor my New Year’s feast (see the Rosemary and mint in the snow, above) I wonder if this means that fungi and blight that we usually count on killing off with a freeze will now winter over as well?  What about bulbs and seeds that count on a cold period to know when to emerge?

Not that I am an expert on global warming or anything although apparently last year was the warmest on record in the U.S. by far.  So are we just putting our proverbial heads in the snow or what?  Of course, I have no idea what February will bring.  Perhaps it will be a super cold one and I will longing for a thaw…

3 thoughts on “January Thaw?

  1. We are in zone 7 and have had almost no snow at all. Garden weeds are happily growing and I can still harvest parsley. Global warming is real and may be a real disaster. Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2013 19:57:39 +0000 To: elaineandal@msn.com

  2. No matter whether it is a freezing winter or not, time to look at the new seed catalogs. Wuestion–should we be starting seeds earleir in expection of an earlier frost-free date?

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