Just Wait and the Weather Will Change

Trying to take pictures outside today would be an utter waste of time.

The wind is gusting over 20 mph and bringing in with it some mighty cold air – at least compared to the high 70s we had on Tuesday!

A friend in Chicago reports their temperature was 75 degrees one day and 29 the next as a clipper from Canada pushed the warm breezes back to the South.

The warmth of three days in the high 60s to mid-70s nudged a few plants into sprouting. Most notable are the trees as they opened their winter buds to release a burst of color and, unfortunately for some of us, loads of sneeze-producing and eye-watering pollen.

Places far to the south of us, like Georgia and North Carolina, have reported extremely high pollen counts. High enough, in fact, to be record-setting amounts. Guess the conditions were just right, as Goldilocks would say. We hope our entrance into Spring will be a little less dramatic here in Pennsylvania.

So far, here are our mountain top trees that have broken out of their winter buds and whether the buds contained foliage or reproductive structures.

  • red maple with red flowers
  • lilac with light green leaves
  • sweet birch with yellow flowers
  • elderberry with light green leaves
  • star magnolia with white flowers

Snow squalls produced a coating of snow on the ground this morning, which means last night could have been cold enough to harm the more delicate early bloomers. Local tree fruit farmers may have something to worry about tonight, so they will probably be spraying their trees or burning their barrels to minimize the damage.

Our star magnolia just broke her buds three days ago. Yesterday morning three blooms that had begun to open were closed again as if trying to shut out the cold air. More buds have opened by mid-morning today, but the blossoms are not yet out in full. We’ll keep watching and waiting to see when she blooms for real.

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