Old man winter blasts the parking lot with his icy breath bringing forth our annual St. Valentine’s Day snow. I have noticed that in my little slice of Appalachia that we’re more likely to have a wet Christmas and a white Valentine’s Day. However, this year it was actually too cold for snow. We only got a few flakes that quickly dissipated. And even in spite of the bitter cold I noticed that Mother Nature is slowly opening her eyes from the deep sleep of winter.
In the urban areas the Bradford Pear is one of the first to wake up. As the big blue truck carried me by I noticed the buds are starting to swell. The papery outer scales have started to slip away and reveal the light green promise of new life. And this hits a mark on my natural calendar. Time of the swollen buds. It will most likely be several weeks before they actually open and even then it’s common to have snow covered flowers but as they drop the pear leaves begin to burst open and the other flowers follow. The Service berry, magnolia and Dogwood will also be making an appearance. Usually it’s April when they come out.
The temperature actually has less to do with the buds opening and more do with the earth’s angle to the sun and wavelength of the the light that hits the tree. So I pay attention to the Bradford Pear buds and take note of what they’re saying. Tonight they say “Get ready. It’s not much longer before the land is fully awake.”
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