The Tuesday tree: cherry blossom in the snow
Happy New Year! What unseasonal weather we are having. Actually, I’m not sure what ‘seasonal’ is any more. Last winter and the one before, temperatures of minus ten or fifteen Celsius (14 to 5 Fahrenheit) were commonplace: this year, plus ten is not unusual. It was 13 degrees (55 F) on Christmas Day, which is warmer than half of 2011. This week has brought snow, but it has been blown away almost as fast as it settled. Yet another rather scary gale today has brought a few more trees down and blown a few more slates off the roof, but it wasn’t as destructive as the first one of the winter, thank heavens.
Despite the gales, the mild temperatures have confused the poor plants into thinking that spring is here. Returning from a snowy walk (past green shoots of snowdrops and even of daffodils) yesterday, I was astonished to spot blossoms on a little cherry tree near the house. Last year, I was excited when this tree flowered on the 23rd of March, some two weeks earlier than in 2010. Yet here it is blooming at New Year!
Its poor blossoms look rather pale and wind-torn, and I’m not sure what the tree will do for the rest of this year, having been tricked into activity almost three months earlier than usual. Still, it is a strange – if ‘unseasonal’ – pleasure to see these delicate flowers at the very dawn of the year.
This time last year, the landscape was still locked in deepest winter: see ‘Winter colours: red, russet and grey’.