An Early Spring

     Although we have had some cold spells in January and February, for the most part those months have had above normal temperatures.  In fact, weather reports say we have had the warmest February on record in our area.  And although we have had an inch or two of snow a couple of times, we have escaped any big snow storms like we had in 2014 and 2015.  The antumnalis cherry tree in our front yard, pictured above, has bloomed in November as it usually does, but also had some blooms around January 5, and is now in full spring bloom as this photo of February 24 shows.  This is a month earlier than it usually blooms.

     I started noticing the trees budding the first week of February.  I thought I was seeing things that weren't really there.  But each day, as I walked the dog, I looked again, and the trees were definitely budding.  Also in February while walking the dog, I noticed many other plants blooming:  daffodils, blue periwinkle, violets, forsythia.  The following photos show what's happening in my yard this early spring.

I saw the first hellebore blooms around February 2 at the side of the house by the wooded floodplain.

The full spread of hellebore plants in that area were in full bloom three weeks later on February 24.

The jonquils in the side garden were emerging on February 2.

Three weeks later on February 24 they were blooming.

I was surprised to see that the clematis vine showed showed some budding on February 2 also.

This is a photo of the clematis buds three weeks later on February 24.

The hyacinths in the front of the house garden were emerging February 2.

Here's what they looked like three weeks later on February 24.

In the back yard garden, the daffodils were just starting to show buds on February 24.

One week later I noticed the first daffodil blooms on March 3.

Other bits of green I saw emerging in the back yard garden were several brunnera plants on February 24.

     All the plants seem to be emerging and blooming at least a month earlier than normal. which I don't mind.  I live for spring and summer each year, but this does portend significant changes that affect the whole ecosystem.