This is the last blog post I ever would have expected to write in early winter here near Binghamton, in upstate New York.
In years past, when my son was younger, we sometimes went to go to First Night on New Years Eve. It was usually very cold (sometimes near zero), and there was always snow on the ground. It was an effort to go from one venue to the other, braving the weather, but we and others did it.
And see any green other than Christmas decorations? See anything growing? Perish the thought! No, winter was here. And it would stay for another three to four months, here on the edge of the snowbelt.
Well, this year has featured the strangest winter in my 25 years or so living here. And it isn't just us.
(For the record, Binghamton's snow is measured at the airport, which is up on a high hill, so we have had maybe 3 inches of snow, total, at our house. But, we still normally get a lot of snow.)
So what did we do on New Years Eve this year? Bundle up and brave the chill? Well, not exactly.
It touched 50, and we took a walk on the Vestal Rail Trail.
There were still some stray flowers on the witch hazel bushes at the west end. And on our walk, what did we see, but....a mullein plant!???
Inspired, I went into my back yard and....
Well, after the New Year, it did turn chilly. Today it was 7 above when I went to work. (At the airport, it was 2 above). Yesterday, we got a dusting of snow. Today, it was still sticking to the grass, but gone from the sidewalk.
But....how long will this continue?
Not that I'm complaining. But I can't shake the feeling that Nature will have its revenge...and we will pay for this. I'm not just whistling in the wind (so to speak) - the ecology here does depend on snow. It will be interesting to see what happens this coming spring and summer, if this weather pattern continues.
Are you having a strange winter too? (too wintery or not wintery enough?) Or, in the Southern Hemisphere, summer?