Strange Spring

This winter had particularly low temperatures by San Francisco standards. Not the coldest in my lifetime, but the coldest I recall in recent years. Then, in February we had a little heat wave. It was NOT the warmest heatwave I’ve experienced in a San Francisco winter—we get winter heatwaves once in a while, some years it’s warmer in winter than in summer because of our peculiar weather system. What was unusual was that the colder-than-normal temperatures and the heatwave happened within the same winter.

Then there was the precipitation. We had a really wet December and then… dry January and February. Though March is proving to be wetter (it rained today).

It’s like we got winters from two different years spliced together.

This being California, we’re worried about whether the reservoirs have enough water to irrigate all the farms, and whether we’ll have a bad wildfire season later this year.

Right now, it’s messing with the flowers.

Every year, I look forward to the explosion of blooming trees in January, February, and March. This year disappointed me. Plum flower season blew by. Almost as soon as the flowers opened, the leaves grew out and crowded out the petals. The leaves started growing before the flowers. For plum trees, that’s the wrong order.

The plum tree in my backyard is putting on a more showy display than most of the plum trees in my neighborhood, possibly because it’s a late bloomer and began the flowering cycle after the heatwave passed. However, the leaves are still coming out too fast relative to the flowers, and its floral display is more muted than any other year since it reached maturity.

I hope that this won’t negatively affect the fruit crop (not that we depend on getting a good plum harvest, but… it’s nice).

The magnolias have disappointed some neighbors, but I don’t think they turned out so bad this year. Yes, the flower season is a little faster than normal, but the peak displays were/are still spectacular.

Hopefully, this winter’s odd weather will turn out not to be a big deal, but… it’s eerie. This is California. And I see how strange this spring is whenever I look at the trees around me.

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