In winter the cold can get dangerous, no doubt. But so too can the warmth.

A forsythia (Forsythia spp.) bloom in December
A forsythia (Forsythia spp.) bloom in December

After a few days of 50 degree temperatures, the buds on this forsythia (Forsythia spp.) plant began to break. With the majority of the winter still ahead of us, there is no chance this color will make it to spring. A hard freeze will dry out the blooms, and since the next seasons buds are already produced, what falls will not be replaced.

A mid-winter “heat wave” may feel good at first, but it doesn’t just confuse plants like the forsythia. It upsets my body’s acclimation to the cold, making the seasonable temperatures feel even more uncomfortable when they return. And while I don’t mind spotting a few tiny drops of color on my December walk, each one is an early withdrawal with penalties to be paid in the spring.


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