Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Winter's last harvest

Is a week of winter all that I will see this year? At the moment, winter has left the mountain and something closer to mid-March has arrived. Temperatures are expected to reach the 50’s this weekend, which will certainly put an end to my snow. The January thaw is becoming ore like a January spring.

It is, of course, much too early in the winter to proclaim the season a bust. At best, however, it will certainly take winter a while to recover from a thaw this extreme. And given the recent history of winters in this area, that may not fully happen at all. Probably to no one’s surprise who has been paying attention, 2012 was the warmest year ever in the U.S. Mainstream media has announced that over several outlets this week, as though it was something new, rather than old news. I suppose it’s worth mentioning that they’ve finally noticed!

For a week or so I had hopes this might, after all, be a real winter, though one that started later than it should. Now, I have less hope. It’s still possible , I suppose, but less likely. It will be another full week before the temperatures reach a relatively normal winter range again. By then it will be mid-January, which is normally the coldest point of the winter.

My photo today shows the last of the autumn apples, caught for a moment in the rising sun. This one is wrinkled and damaged by frost and time. Why hasn’t a deer found this to munch on? They have enough to feed on elsewhere, I suppose, so for the time being they can ignore apples in a tree along the edge of a road, perhaps having plenty of them deeper in the orchard, perhaps preferring the withered grass that is slowly appearing from under the carpet of snow.


Grizz………… said...

It's supposed to be 45˚F here today, then top 60˚ tomorrow and Saturday before dropping back into the 40˚s Sunday. Like you, I wonder what all this says about the winter yet ahead. I well remember when seasons followed their routine—winter came in mid-December and stayed winter until spring, which didn't arrive until late-March. You could then expect the various ephemerals to bloom in a familiar order. Now, though, winter is uncertain and spring's wildflowers wildflowers appear early and out of sequence. I expect those of us whose lives and very soul are, and have always been, attuned to nature and the seasons, are growing increasingly nervous…if not downright apprehensive.

Carolyn H said...

Grizz: I long for the days when winter was winter and summer didn't last forever. I think your normal weather must be much the same as my normal weather. too bad neither of us have seen normal for a while. To me this kind of weather is scary. The severe weather I've seen is more than severe enough for me. I don't want to think that this might only be the beginning and that worse is yet to come.