Bright. Windy. Cold. That pretty much sums up the weather for the past couple of days—though over the weekend it was simply cloudy and cold. We've had a hearthfire every evening and relished every BTU.
Yeah, the term "cold" is used relatively speaking. Some days the high has made it into the 50s˚F, which certainly isn't cold compared to mid-winter temperatures. But doggone, it sure feels a lot colder than those upper-70s˚ and mid-80s˚ we've been enjoying for weeks. Moreover, I know that has actually been a record-setting unseasonably warm period for this time of year…but a feller gets used to it, unseasonable or not.
My mother would have said we were simply experiencing Dogwood Winter. Like a lot of the older hill-country folks of the Southern-Appalachians, in her natural scheme of things Mom recognized various "little winters," small seasonal regressions which occured with enough regularity that they acquired a name. Others I learned from her were Blackberry Winter, Redbud Winter, and Locust Winter.
The different names reflected a phenological tie-in to peak bloom-times of common local plants—i.e., redbud, locust, and dogwood trees, along with blackberry briars. Each plant's bloom comes at a slightly different time in the spring.
Weather specialists call these fluctuations "singularities." Before a singularity is given any sort official sanction in their scientifically ordered world, it must happen at least 50 percent of the time. Probably the most widely acknowledged such weather singularity is autumn's Indian Summer.
Tomorrow's high is predicted to be 67˚F, which is more like it, and might finally give me a chance to thaw out. It will certainly be more comfortable for doing yard chores, while enjoying all the blooms and birds—including warblers—that form the glorious vernal setting for my favorite of all seasons.
Incidentally, I've been sort of going though my own personal Dogwood Winter this past week or so—which is why I've been so negligent in my blogging. At the core is a potentially serious and life-altering health issue—though at the moment, the jury is still out on things. I'll expound on all this when I know where I stand. In the meantime, your prayers and thoughts will be be appreciated.