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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Nature Notes: Spring too soon


I always have mixed feelings when we start to have spring like days too soon.
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An isolated warm day here and there doesn't do any harm but if it lasts too long and nature gets ahead of itself, we sometimes lose blooms and plants.
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For now I'm enjoying warmer days but I'm hoping they will not last too long and send mixed signals.
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The problem arises when we start into spring and then have very cold temperatures which is likely to happen through early to mid April.
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I've even seen my pecan tree start leafing out in early April only to have all the leaves killed by very cold temperatures, and although the tree survived it affected that year's foliage which had to start a second time. I also don't think I got as many pecans that year.
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Spring flowers are usually not as abundant if we have a warm spell lasting too long in early February, because winter is bound to have a last blast. I never like to see buds starting to grow in February because with a few exceptions they won't make it.
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A lot depends on how far along the premature spring growth gets going prior to hard low temperatures, frost and, or snow. Depending on variables, snow can actually protect tender plants.
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The plants tolerance varies a lot too. Some flowers are fine with very cold weather after they start growing while others perish.
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All these internal questions don't keep me from enjoying a walk on an unseasonably warm winter day. By the way the narrative only relates to the walk as the green in these shots are evergreens and the fields and woods are still in the winter stage. At home my helioborus (lenten rose) is showing signs of buds but they can survive very cold weather so may make it. Click for the home of nature notes.

10 comments:

Leora said...

While you are having too early spring, we are having ice storms.

I love your bottom photo, with the blue green reflections.

I have some wintry photos - if I have time and energy late tonight, I'm hoping to put together a Nature Notes post. I always enjoy yours.

Jedediah said...

I actually saw a tulip in full bloom the other day. I have no idea what triggered that, the days weren't that warm. Like you, I always hope that it stays reasonably cold until it's really springtime.
Hellebores are beautiful, I always enjoy seeing them in the Botanical Garden very early in the year.

EG Wow said...

I'm amazed that your weather is so warm when so many places are in the middle of very cold weather! For the sake of of your plants I hope the weather turns colder for a while.

A piece of news said...

Are these photos from this week? If so, how did you manage to escape winter's wrath?

MyMaracas said...

I do hope you don't lose too much to that early thaw. I know how destructive it can be.

On the other hand, I've just survived a blizzard. So warm weather would be welcome here regardless of the cost.

srp said...

I was trying to figure out where you are. We are in coastal Virginia and usually January is our coldest month and then a little more warmth starts. But now it has been really cold for some time... today it was 70 but tonight will get back down to 33. This is why I am always so late in planting my bulbs... the fear they will come up and then freeze. Inevitably, I plant them too late. ;)

Carver said...

Thanks to everyone for visiting and to answer the questions, the photos were taken this week. I'm in the NC piedmont (central part of the state).

Cezar and Léia said...

wow you are traveling! So nice!
These pictures are wonderful, so lovely spring feeling in the air!
Thanks for sharing!
Enjoy!
Léia

Rambling Woods said...

I can see why you would be concerned and the potential for loss. I hope the weather returns to normal so the plants don't get confused....Michelle

Nicole said...

Ah - I hope nature doesn't get too happy about these early Spring like days and you can enjoy them, without fearing the damage.
The photos are gorgeous!