Spring in Alabama

Alabama does not have extreme winters. THIS IS GOOD, because we do not have the infrastructure to handle excess snow or cold temperatures. We do not have fleets of trucks ready to prep our roads with sand or salt or whatever you people with real winters use. Our school buses are not designed to run efficiently on severely below-freezing days and our HVAC systems in our homes are heat pump only as we don’t have enough sub-freezing days to warrant the need to pair it with a gas furnace. I tell you all of this so that when I complain about the cold you will understand that I do not live in an area equipped to handle the cold.

The most telling factor about our mild winters is our early-Spring flora and their tendency to not make it through a full bloom cycle because we always have one last frost after the first stretch of warm weather. The Japanese magnolias – which are the first to start blooming – rarely make it through a full bloom cycle with the blossoms falling off naturally because we get frost and the blossoms “get bit” and die before they can either fully bloom, or be pushed off by the next cycle of growth.

BUT THIS YEAR THEY MADE IT!

Full bloom Japanese Magnolia
Blossoms falling off of a Japanese Magnolia

This is a tree in my neighborhood in full bloom and then a week or so later, after some storms, the blossoms were falling off naturally. It was LOVELY! And then the Bradford Pears started blooming as you can see in this photo below of our run last weekend. (Ignore the Godzilla in the foreground.)

(I like the idea of a picture with Godzilla in it, but that the important thing is the pretty white tree in the background.)

The red buds started blooming, the daffodils and tulips are sprouting up everywhere, (The daffodils actually started popping up the last few days of February!) and I’ve even seen some buds on some dogwoods. SO OF COURSE WE HAD A FREEZE WARNING LAST NIGHT.

Y’all? I had already put the basked of gloves and hats away in the garage! The winter coats are hung up in the coat closet! WE HAD THE AIR CONDITIONING ON FOR A SOLID WEEK! And last night? Last night we had a freeze warning. That means it will be cold as the kids go to school this morning and one of them rides the aforementioned not-great-in-winter bus. I thought once I saw buds on dogwoods I was safe to dream of Spring. BUT NO! Alabama had one more winter spell up it’s sleeve! DAMN YOU, ALABAMA AND YOUR WINTER THAT COMES BACK TO HAUNT OUR EARLY BLOOMING SPRING FLORA.

How is Spring looking where you live? Are you still shoveling snow off your driveway and really hating my complaining right now? Will you feel better if I remind you that our 100 degree/99% humidity summer days are right around the corner?

10 Comments

  • Michele

    How I miss those spring days where I’d complain it may hit 32 overnight! We got 1/2 a foot of snow overnight and more than 1 foot expected today. After 4 months of an ice covered driveway, it had finally warmed up enough days in a row for the salt to work and we saw the gravel in our driveway last week. Now, it’s buried again. On the bright side, spring snow means amazing skiing!!

  • Bobbie

    I just got in from shoveling (my husband uses the snowblower and I do the clean up work!) 8-10 inches of “spring” in Connecticut. Thousands of people are without power because the snow was so heavy it took down trees and power lines. More expected on Monday!

    It’s not so bad. I feel sorry for the kids – today is day 2 of no school and I think they’re going to start taking away their April vacation.

  • Denise V.

    Indiana is lucky this morning compared to what the east coast is dealing with. We got a dusting of snow overnight and it’s currently 23 degrees.

  • Grace

    Looks like here in Coastal South Georgia. Azaleas, dogwoods, redbuds, etc. And it got down to like 36 last night down here. Bleah.

  • Kelli Oliver George

    I live in Kansas and we are allllllll over the place right now with weather. We could get snow in May. It’s happened.

  • Brenda

    I live in the mountains of New Mexico and we’ve had a very mild winter—which is not good for the ski resorts. Also the lack of moisture will make for a bad fire season (spring/summer). Around here the last frost can happen up until about Mother’s Day. That’s when it’s safe to plant outside. We have a chance of snow this weekend so my spring has been weird this year.

  • Vicki

    As your neighbor in Mississippi we have pretty much the same seasons so yeah we had a frost warning last night too. Instead of switching on the heat we just threw another blanket on the bed because it’s easier to do that than to try to keep up with going between the a/c and the heat. My two cats just snuggle in and wait until the sun warms up the windowsill so they can lay there.

  • Beth E

    My Spring is the same as yours. However I will soon be in Western NY and I am wondering what in the world I should pack. Will there still be snow on the ground. Will I need shorts. Footed Jammies . My brother is notoriously stingy with the heat and the only blanket they had was wool. I am allergic to wool. So This time I think I will buy an acrylic blanket. I have all kinds of t hints up there so I sony have to drag stuff up there every 6 months

  • CraftyHope

    No matter how warm it gets, my mom swears that we ALWAYS have one more cold snap before Easter. I hope this is it and we’re done with the cold weather. Of course, I’m not exactly welcoming the sweltering heat either.

  • Lucy McConville

    Haha! Your last paragraph was great!

    I live in Southern California…so, yeah, winter is very mild. But I have been SO enjoying winter this year! It gets hotter and hotter here every year…it was SO nice to have cool weather. Today is a gorgeous, cool-breeze-but-sun-shining spring day. I see the leaf buds on the trees starting to get fat, and some of the blossoming trees are doing that (nothing like that magnolia you showed, though! I want one of those!)

    All that said, after gaining 25 pounds in the past two years, I am NOT looking forward to the warmer weather. I live in an almost-coastal town…as in, my address doesn’t have “beach” in it, but I could ride my bike to the beach. We have never needed air conditioning here, so no one HAS it! It has been so miserable in the summer, especially with this extra weight. Bleh. So…as you said, that hot weather is coming…time to shed this extra weight!