Well, according to the local groundhog on February 2nd (Groundhog’s Day), we were in for six more weeks of winter. I, personally, am a fan of the picture of a cartoon groundhog holding a sign that reads “I am a rodent, not a meteorologist!” Whereas watching animals for clues regarding the weather in the near future can be useful, I never understood the groundhog thing. Doesn’t seeing your shadow mean it is nice out?
Well, those that swear by the groundhog can be pleased this year. The groundhog method predicted correctly. Sort of. I can’t speak for all of the Pacific Northwest. There are too many microclimates. The paid meteorologists are still, with all their technology, weather-guessers. Don’t get me wrong, the technology and methodology is getting better with time. However, forecasting has its limits.
In my microclimate, this last month or so has been full of wacky weather. For example: two to three weeks ago we had two beautiful, 65 degree, sunshiny days that made me sad (only because I worked through most of the sunshine). The following day, we had rain. The last week and the day before yesterday it was snowing.
Spring, according to the calendar, starts today or tomorrow (depending on the calendar). The spring blossoms have been peeking up through the ground and blossoming for a fair while now. Ornamental Cherry trees are flowering, fragrant pink blossoms battered by rain and hail, covered in ice and snow, and swept away by the wind. Still, they are blooming. My hyacinths are blooming, which makes me smile. They are, after all, my favorite flowers.
Winter appears to be lingering. The imagined personification seems to want a last hurrah, a final showing of her power before leaving the area and retreating further north. Spring keeps trying to assert her power, as evidenced by the sprinkling of nice days. Perhaps this can be settled peacefully between the two. And without confusing the local flora and fauna any more. The stray cats don’t seem to know whether to shed or keep their winter coats.
Want to know if winter is ending? In a non-wacky year, the outdoor critters with winter coats start shedding. This us generally a good indication spring is coming. Their lives depend on having that protection until the cold goes away. Migratory birds returning is another good clue. Usually. They tend to follow the weather-pattern seasons rather than the calendar-mandated ones.
Oh, current weather forecast for the first weekend in spring is currently rain, snow on Wednesday night/ Thursday morning, sun on Friday, then back to clouds and rain. Spring, huh?