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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

81 degrees??

Two days ago, the high temperature here was 81° F (just over 27° C.) Yesterday's high was 77° F, and today the temperature got up to 73° F. (That's 25° C and about 23° C, respectively.) By Monday, the temperature is expected to get back up to 81°.

To put things in perspective: at this time of year the average high temperature here in northern Indiana is 47° F (about 8-1/2° C;) lows are typically just above freezing. Temperatures such as we've had in the last few days are what we expect in June and early July, not in the last week of astronomical winter! Thursday's and Friday's highs set records for their respective dates.

Daffodils beside our house.
It's not unusual here to see temperature spikes during the winter: one day, maybe two, with the temperature going 20-30 degrees higher than normal before dropping back to where it should be. But this is no one-or-two-day spike: temperatures have been well above normal for well over a week, and are expected to stay up for a while longer.

A neighbor's lilac, Syringa spp.
The local flora, of course, are responding to all this warmth!
New leaves are opening and flowers are blooming. And buds are swelling, some even starting to open, on my hardy trees that spent the winter in the side yard. (See this post.)

(It's not just the plant life, either: the other evening my daughter and her friends were playing hide-and-seek outside for the first time this year. ;-) )

It's hard to remember that, on the calendar, spring doesn't start for a few more days!  Temperatures could still go back to more normal levels before warming up for good. In an average year we expect our last frost between May 6 and 10, and snow in April isn't unheard-of here. There's no guarantee that this mild weather will last beyond the next week.

A large shrub willow just down the street.

Some of my hardy trees are due for repotting this year. With this warm weather, they are almost ready now. I'm going to go ahead and repot them, so as to do it at the optimum point in their growth cycle. But then I'm going to keep a close eye on the temperature forecast, and be ready to give them special protection if we get a cold snap while they are recovering.

Meanwhile, I just may have my morning coffee on the deck tomorrow, before church! 
Closeup of the willow's blooms.

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