February 6th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

False Spring?

Yesterday afternoon there was enough warmth in the air to attract a buzzing crowd of bees around the bushes in my front yard. Since I have lived here, there have been stretches of warm days in mid- winter about half the years. I have mixed feelings about these false springs. On the one hand, it is nice to have a break from the cold and to go out walking without a jacket. But, if these periods of warmth last for too long, the plants begin to bud. This is most distressing for the cherry tree in the back yard. When it blossoms early, and then a cold period follows, it never blossoms fully, and may lose all of its blossoms, and we end up with no cherry crop at all. As I said, this has happened in about half of the years since I have lived here.

Even when the timing of the blossoms is good, there can still be rain after the fruit has begun to grow. If cherries get wet after they reach a certain size, they split open. This has also happened several times since I came here. Altogether, in sixteen years, we have had no more than four decent crops of cherries. A most troublesome tree. So, a warm day or two in winter is nice. A warm week is a threat. I hope it is cooler tomorrow.