In January of 2009, we had our first decent snow in years. Not a big snow by northern standards but it was around five inches and since we hadn't had any real snow accumulation in years it was an event.
The average snow accumulation per winter where I live is 7 inches. In 2000 we had our single largest snow at one time which was 20.3 inches (52 cm) and for several years we had a fair amount of snow for us. Then virtually nothing (only very light snow with little or no accumulation for four or more years).
I was ready for some snow this year but it was very mixed up weather. The first shot was January, the next two were in February when a very mild month got the early spring flowers blooming prematurely. Then bam, a March snow and quite cold beginning to that month zapped the early flowers.
I was particularly sad about the tulip tree which was so lovely with its premature blooms in February but after the snow and cold weather for early March the blooms didn't really materialize.
The record low in Raleigh, NC where I live is -9°F (-22°C) which was set in 1985. I remember that extra cold winter well since it was the year my daughter was born. We occasionally have single digit farenheit temperatures a night or two in the winter but almost never below that. In the winter months the average highs are in the 40s to low 50s and the average lows are in the high 20s to low 30s.
For this post I looked up mean, average, and record temperatures to give you an idea of the climate but I'll spare you the ton of statistics I found. As to 2009 and snow, we got some snow which I wanted (accumulation in January, coating in February, accumulation in March, light coating on my deck in December but didn't stick in the yard). The shot above is from April and we did have a nice spring in spite of losing some of the early flowers both in the ground and on trees.
The shot above is also April and the roses in front of my greenhouse and storeage building are always a month or two ahead of my other roses. We have had record lows in the 20s (F) in April before but we got a break this year and in spite of losing some March flowers, nothing like that happened in April. Below is a shot of a robin feasting in my mullberry tree in May.
The record highs where I live are pretty amazing. I knew there are often a few warm days in the winter months but I was amazed that the record was as high as 84 F one February. Considering that is 30 degrees higher than the average high it's pretty impressive. We can have a frew weeks in the winter where it doesn't get above freezing at all and occasionally snow will stick around a few weeks. However, in general we go back and forth between above and below freezing in the winter.
I'm skipping ahead with an August photo above. I had to completely erase my hard drive this summer and lost almost all of my photographs from June and July, excepting ones I'd put on my blog already. Unfortunately I had only backed up through the end of May. I'll never go that long again. Our record high in August is 105 F with the average high of 87.2. The average low in August is 67.2. I get very tired of the heat by August but the pecan tree above not only drops pecans on my deck it provides nice shade.
I think I've given a fair idea of our climate so I'll skip the factoids, but I do like the fact that we have 4 distinct seasons. It's usually warm to cool in the spring, hot in the summer, warm to cooler in the fall and cool to cold in the winter. However, we also have odd ball days in all seasons which are radically different from the day before. The shot above is of one of my grasses in September with a green visitor and the shot below is also September.
One thing I really like about 2009 is that we had plenty of rain. After a dry 2007/2008, I was ready for a wet year and I love the look of mushrooms in the grass. The shot below is from October. Our average first frost is in October but this year I don't think we had any frost in October.
Overall, we had a very mild fall but lots of good color in the trees. Below is my oak from November. The oaks are always among the last to change colors. We had a lot of good October fall foliage too but I've posted so many of those trees in October, I'll skip them.
Also this post is getting crazy long so I'll zip along. The shot below was a November sunset and the trees had lost enough leaves to give me a better view of the sky.
The rest of the post will be December of 2009. I don't remember the ivy changing to burgandy in the winter. Usually they die back some but I really enjoy the color I'm getting this year.
I'm also enjoying all the moss which the rain is encouraging. My front stairs are covered in moss in between the bricks and I like that.
For my final nature notes photo of 2009, I'll leave you with this noisy bird. Can you hear it?
Happy New Year and you can find other nature enthusiasts at the home of Nature Notes.