"Typical for". That's the rub. There are temperature spikes occurring earlier and earlier, but rather than signaling a general easing into freeze-free territory, these warming spells continue to be stand alone events, inserted into the ordinary "Will it freeze?" crap shoot that is a Central Texas winter. At least, what we used to call "winter"...
If expected temperature cues in our region are regularly misfiring, what will happen to our mutually agreed upon and widely accepted seasonal definitions? With a range of Spring temperatures starting to pop up regularly in what we've designated as the "Winter" months, what are we going to call this new, in-between season?
"Spring adjacent" is quite a mouthful. Once the warm spells have begun shall we call that "Wring"? Then once we hit the last two weeks of February we could call it "Sprinter".
Terms aside for the moment, most plants are stuck outside, rooted in place and mandatorily exposed to the full quilt of crazy that is our current weather. I worry for the flora, people. They are getting a lot of mixed signals.
Out I went to check. This year so far, the winter plants are all reliably getting their winter business done.
Yarrow is kicking into higher gear right on schedule. Established yarrow plants begin blooming in April most years, so I'm taking these new stalks as timely. Will I get blooms on these relative newcomers? You know I'll show you if I do. Stay tuned.
Speaking of blooms, the branches on our mature redbud trees are all decked out with eponymous finery. Here's yet another opportunity to right a terminology wrong. These are called redbud trees, right? For the buds. The buds that you would have every reason to expect to be red. But they aren't really red at all. Isn't it time we acknowledged that?
The redbud shown in these photos demonstrates no set seasonal bloom time. Every year just as soon as we get three consecutive really warm days, that tree throws everything it has into budding out at top speed. You can almost hear it blooming.
It makes for some interesting photo opportunities. This same tree initiated flowering over the MLK weekend in January of 2007 when a winter storm, following close on the heels of a several day long warm spell, coated every branch and emerging bloom with ice.
|Serendipitous photograph or cautionary tale?|