Back to back.


Pictured above is a lovely old oak tree that sits out the back of my house. It was the first thing I snapped on my new digital camera. Once I loaded a larger view of the tree onto my computer I noticed something a little strange. It seemed to be dotted throughout as if the pixels had decided to do a dance, scattering to settle at random. And then it hit me. Those dots are buds. Yes, the tree took a long time to lose its leaves, right into December and now it’s budding early January.

I call this ‘back to back’. Where winter gets increasingly squeezed out by an extended autumn and an early spring or, we could settle for calling it a mild winter. Whatever, the effects are the same. Other species such as hedgehogs are going through the same back to back experience which is threatening their survival. Elsewhere Russians have been warned to stay away from grumpy insomniac bears!

Looks like nature as well as humans are having to adjust to the climatic changes going on right now. They however don’t have any forewarning. We do.

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6 Responses to Back to back.

  1. inel says:

    When I saw cherry trees in blossom in Oxford this week, and wasps here and in Norway, I did wonder what would happen when the next cold snap comes. It is OK for things to adapt to hatch early, if all of nature is co-ordinated in the ecoweb, but getting spring before winter doesn’t work very well in our temperate climes, does it?

  2. matt says:

    No, it doesn’t! Maybe it’s why I & many others have been experiencing colds that have lasted for weeks!

    It just won’t go away. The seesaw effect of winter temperatures is affecting the whole of the northern hemisphere. Heard something recently about migration of caribou in Siberia having problems with this. Unusual rain (instead of snow) caused by warm weather then froze over, stopping the caribou from digging through to the tundra to feed. Still, the permafrost there is warming up; . Scientists call this a ‘tipping point’ for the planet … a point of no return for runaway climatic change. :O

  3. inel says:

    Sorry to hear you have been sick. Here’s another story I just found in today’s Independent on the topic of plants and animals being deceived by winter’s unseasonal warmth.

  4. matt says:

    Heard this weekend that Thames Water is finally considering lifting the hose pipe ban for the south-east of England. That’s 8 months after it was imposed last April. Madness! It’s certainly getting dryer this way. Maybe reading up on lessons from the record Australian drought wouldn’t be a bad idea!;

  5. earthpal says:

    Magnificent tree you have there Matt.

    Climate change really is confusing nature isn’t it.

    And still, no snow! But as already implied, a sudden cold spell and the unseasonal plants and animals will probably perish. I read earlier today that if it carries on like this, it could be the first ever year without Winter.

    The “Time Bomb” article is pretty alarming!

  6. keithsc says:

    Someone was telling me last week about 1947 – it was as mild as this and then at the end of January and all of February it was bitterly cold and one of the worst winters on record. So it could still change…

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