Signs of an Early Spring

Daffodil buds swelling, 13 Feb 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

18 February 2023

Since a low temperature of 6°F two weeks ago, this month’s weather barely dipped below freezing (until this morning) and twice reached more than 70°F. This week I found signs of an early spring, some of which will survive today’s low of 22°F.

The swelling buds of daffodils, above, and tulip leaves, below, were evident six days ago. Both will probably survive today’s frost.

Tulip and lily leaves spring up, 12 Feb 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

Yesterday I found early flowers that won’t fare so well.

  • A few early blossoms of Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas)
Cornelian cherry in bloom, 17 Feb 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)
Red maple flowers blooming, 17 February 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

The swollen red maple buds are armored against frost if they’re not open too far.

Red maple buds swollen, 17 Feb 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

Unopened American elm (Ulmus americana) buds are in good shape to wait out the cold.

Elm buds swelling, 17 Feb 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

These early signs are two weeks ahead of the earliest spring I’ve ever recorded. The spring of 2012 was so hot that all of April’s wildflowers bloomed in March.

Will we have a spring like that this year? Or is this just the temporary hot-cold yo-yo of climate change?

p.s. I also found piles of fluff from London plane trees (click here to see what that looks like).

(photos by Kate St. John)

One thought on “Signs of an Early Spring

  1. I saw snowdrops and crocus in bloom this week. Hope the bulb plants can hang on and not freeze before it’s time to blossom. It’s been a strange winter.

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