This year Groundhog Day fell in the midst of alarmingly warm weather. Saturday I went out to see what the trees and plants were thinking about the advent of spring. Many thought it was here.
Poplars flower early, but this is too early. Winter returned this week. Thomasburg fell in a narrow band between winter storms. We had some wind, some snow, but nothing like regions of Ontario to the west, north, and some parts east. Temperatures have fallen into more normal ranges, and are forecast to stay down all week. So what happens to the trees that jump the gun. Probably nothing terrible--but it does put them closer to the edge to spend the extra energy on budding twice. These particular trees don't normally suffer from the spring frosts we often get after the trees break dormancy in more average years, but a couple of hard frosts in the spring--or, as is also possible, a couple more false springs, would put them at risk.
Moss is incredible stuff. Not only does it grow on rocks, but this growth in a warm spell is nothing for moss. Most summers we have some very dry periods during which all the moss in exposed areas dries right out. One day of rain and it greens up again, often flowering almost before my eyes.
So no worries about the moss. And the snow cover on the perrennial beds has persisted since the real snow of December. (I got out on snowshoes three times--more than last year (which was cold, but there was very little snow) but not nearly enough!) But a lot of things are going to be affected, one way or another, by this very weird winter.