The weather here in central Maryland has been out of the ordinary this winter… not much in the way of cold temperatures; no measurable accumulations of snow (yet); hardly any ice (the local ponds skimmed over for only a couple of days so far); the birds haven’t cleaned us out of seed; etc.
Definitely not “normal”.
Yet the early plants and bushes have begun to pull the trigger and bloom!
The photos on this page were both taken on February 8th and as you can see, the daffodils are popping and the hyacinths are emerging. We’ve also seen in our local wanderings the distinctive yellow of forsythia beginning to color up, the dark pink of new growth in broad swaths throughout the local orchards, lawns through out our area are turning green, etc.
I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen such advanced signs of spring this early in the year, and it concerns me. If we get hit with hard winter weather after this — more likely it’s “when” and not “if” — it’ll be devastating to the local farmers and growers. A number of our nearby agricultural neighbors have large apple and peach orchards that were particularly hard hit last year by a warm winter trend (though not this warm), that was interrupted by a sharp cold period just as the buds were forming. They didn’t have something approaching “normal” harvesting until sometime in late July to early August, as all the early yields in late June and early July were just a small fraction of what they should be.
What about you? What are you seeing in your area? Is this an anomaly… or is this the new normal?