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!
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?