It's January. 25 January actually. This time of the year is typically so frigidly cold and snowy. Lately while parts of the USA and southern Ontario are being hit with record low temperatures, here in Alberta it's been beautiful. Unseasonably beautiful. The temperatures have not dropped below -5C in the daytime for a while now, with yesterday hitting +7C. Some mornings I'll be getting to my car at 6 am and hear the water running through the eave and into the drainpipe. In January. I am trying very hard not to get my hopes up that spring could actually be here this early when I noticed my lilac bush in the back yard looked odd. It looked oddly lumpy and bumpy.
I looked closer...and found buds! The bush looks like it's actually budding! How is that possible? Even with the temperatures so warm we have permafrost in the ground that hasn't receded yet. The earth has to rotate a little more to get the ground to warm up - certainly not in January. So why are there buds? Wouldn't the roots still be frozen?
I wondered if the buds were on other bushes in the yard so I checked on the ash (?) tree in the front yard...and found buds! Were they always there? Did I just not see them last year or the year before? (All the little helicopter seeds are from a tree two houses over. We had a huge windstorm and now all the snow looks like it has freckles.)
Ok, I know the rose bushes don't bud in the winter so I went over to the oldest one I have that sits beside my front step. And I found buds! I wonder what will happen to these plants being woken from their winter slumber early. Will they freeze and die if the temperatures return to normal? Are the plants really waking up or is this normal and I've never noticed? It would be awesome if this really was the beginning of spring in January!