Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Nature Notes: Spring too soon
I always have mixed feelings when we start to have spring like days too soon.
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.
For now I'm enjoying warmer days but I'm hoping they will not last too long and send mixed signals.
The problem arises when we start into spring and then have very cold temperatures which is likely to happen through early to mid April.
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.
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.
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.
The plants tolerance varies a lot too. Some flowers are fine with very cold weather after they start growing while others perish.
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.