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.