Friday, November 22, 2013

ABERRANT BLOOMS

Yes, indeed, that's a forsythia, in bloom, in my yard, today. Honest! Southwestern-Ohio, a week before Thanksgiving! An entire head-high bush bedecked in bright yellow flowers. And looking about as out of place as a nudist at a Baptist pie-social. 

In case you're wondering, when I snapped this mid-afternoon portrait, the temperature under a dim, dirty-wool November sky, was a chilly 41˚F, though the wind and dampness made it feel more like the low-30˚s.

I have no idea what prompted such an unseasonable action. Temperatures lately have been up and down, but no more than during most such late-autumn periods. We've had nights in the upper-20˚s, too, several frosts, and one light snow that lingered a day or so on the ground. Our woodstove has been going, day and night—when I remembered to feed in another log—for the most part of several weeks. 

Moreover, my forsythias are decidedly not of a jump-the-gun disposition. They are always laggards, the last around to bloom. Each spring, when other area forsythias are heralding the season with their jaunty golden boughs, mine are huddled beside the driveway like clumps of dead sticks. Embarrassing. Sometimes to the point that, in a fit of pique, I stomp out and threaten them: If you continue acting this way, I swear I'll prune you so low you'll look like a ground cover!  

Of course my commination has absolutely no effect. They might bloom the next day…or the next week, but not until the spirit moves them. Which it has obviously done recently.

So what's next? Lilacs for Christmas?          

12 comments:

Sally Moore said...

Wow! I live in Medina County. I am a lot further north than you and I saw a forsythia in full blossom on the same day you did. I have one in my yard, but it isn't blooming, so I don't know what the deal is. I wonder if they will recover enough to blossom in the spring?

Grizz………… said...

Sally…

Well, I'm pleased to find out I'm not the only one with impulsive forsythias—though what set them to blooming I haven't a clue.

I actually spotted my mistimed bushes yesterday evening as Myladylove and I were heading out to have dinner and do some shopping. Today, when I dove a few miles to meet a friend for lunch, I looked carefully along the way for other out of season bloomers, but saw none. I don't know when mine began flowering. I've spent the last few days working, mostly inside except for when I went out with the dog—but surely I can't have missed those gleaming yellow blooms too many days.

As to the question of what do blooms now mean for blooms in the spring, I don't know. Guess we'll have to wait for March to see.

The Weaver of Grass said...

My winter jasmine is in full bloom Grizz - not unlike Forsythia. I must say that when I first saw your photograph I thought it was witch hazel. This time of year anything yellow is a treat isn't it? Happy Thanksgiving to you and your better half.

Scott said...

Grizz: A forsythia at a private residence adjacent to "my" creek here in the northern Piedmont sported a few blossoms a week or so ago, though the bushes around my house were barren. It's all the more unusual because the creek is about 50 feet lower in elevation than my house, and it's always perceptibly colder along the creek than it is on the heights where I live.

Grizz………… said...

Weaver…

I expect to see a yellow dandelion any time. And you might find a violet in bloom now if you looked hard. But these yellow-gold forsythias look strange—pretty, but weird by being so out-of-place and unexpected. It isn't as though we've had an unseasonably warm autumn, and I don't understand what's come over the forsythia—but my little witch hazel is having none of it and has not bloomed.

Grizz………… said...

Scott…

My bushes aren't exactly dense with blooms, as you can see from the photo. But there are plentiful enough to be noticed, and I've had worse (sparser) blooms in the spring.

I understand why the temperature where your home is sited would be warmer than in the creek's corridor—cool air flows downhill. But here, smack beside the water—possibly because there is more volume in the pools of our modest river—the ambient temps are noticeably warmer than temps up along the road, which is a gain in elevation of under 30 feet. We are, however, protected from prevailing winds. But I also expect the water tends to somewhat ameliorate things, as we're cooler in summer, warmer in winter.

KGMom said...

Scribe-Hmmmm--I am wondering how you know how out of place a nudist is at a Baptist pie-social?

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ - what a beautiful, bright Thanksgiving gift to behold. Mother nature is amazing.

Love Gail
peace.....

George said...

I know little about the habits of forsythia, other than its pretty reliable in early spring, but blooming neither sooner nor later than one is moved by the spirit seems to be a good rule for life in general, whether it be plant life or human life like our own.

Grizz………… said...

KGMom…

Because I've yet to see and hear a congregation of bona fide—as opposed to professing—Baptists sitting naked around a campfire singing Kumbayah.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

A gift, certainly, and truly amazing…though, alas, not looking quite so perky after a couple of upper-20˚s nights.

Grizz………… said...

George…

As a fellow who has spent a lifetime swimming upstream—sometimes intentionally, though usually because that was the way I was compelled to go—I agree completely. I've bloomed only when the spirit moved me, regularly to my own astonishment. All of which makes me suspect my goofy, mistimed forsythias are of the the mule-headed, idiosyncratic Irish variety.