Februarius Mirabilis

Are you old enough to remember when winter used to be winter, damn it, and spring, spring? On the way to Prospect Park today, the second day of February, I saw the flowering quince on Congress St. in bloom:And then, in a tree pit in Windsor Terrace, some bulbs were pushing up into the light:In the Midwood, there were wild spring onions:I stopped dead in my tracks for these snow drops (snow? snow?):But wait, there was more. The Chinese witch-hazel was blooming, not even bothering to have complely shed its old leaves:American witchhazel blooms late in the fall, Chinese witch-hazel early in the spring. Between the two should come winter, a time of cold, and snow, and ice, and stasis. Last year I took some pics of witch-hazel bloom on March 8th.You know, when I was a boy I would be annoyed by people who started off saying things like “when I was a boy.” But now that I close in on my half century mark, it’s easier to see what those old codgers were about. The past is a different place. With the climate changing so radically, my dear friends A & H’s baby, born last night, will reach his half century in a very, very different world. Welcome little dude, and good luck!

UPDATE: The NY Botanical Garden answers your questions about the vulnerability of these early blooms to the return of freezing weather.

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4 Responses to “Februarius Mirabilis”


  1. 1 meemsnyc February 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Seeing that photo of the flowering quince really freaks me out. If everything starts blooming now, what are we going to enjoy in the spring? I just hope my peach tree doesn’t start producing buds yet!

  2. 2 amy February 3, 2012 at 8:37 am

    You make the case harder tp deny, but some people’s powers of denial are stunning. Meanwhile, I’m trying not to see that face on the witchhazel, you know, so I don’t anthropomorphize it, but it speaks too loudly. What a face!


  1. 1 Ever green at JBWR « Backyard and Beyond Trackback on February 4, 2012 at 7:16 am
  2. 2 Pink, Yellow « Backyard and Beyond Trackback on February 26, 2012 at 7:05 am

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