Biak, sunning. And beyond, pasture greening.

An occasional 80-degree
January or February day
is typical in Oklahoma.
But we have had a warm month
only one January day below 32 degrees.
This, from Oklahoma Mesonet:

Snow was mostly a no-show during January as Oklahoma’s mild winter weather continued for a second month. The average temperature across the state soared to nearly 7 degrees above normal to rank as the eighth warmest January since records began in 1895. Combine that with a mild December and the first two months of the winter season finished at more than 3 degrees above normal and ranked as the 16th warmest such period on record. That story is not confined to Oklahoma. Much of the United States has experienced an extremely mild winter thus far, accompanied by a remarkable lack of snowfall. Temperatures in the Northern Plains states of the Dakotas and Minnesota were 8-11 degrees above normal during January. By January 31, only 19 percent of the United States was covered by snow. In Oklahoma, only a few localized areas in central and northeastern parts of the state reported snowfall totals of more than an inch for the month. The blizzard that struck the Panhandle in mid-December remains the only significant snowstorm to strike the state this season.

It doesn’t feel like a spring day,
it feels like spring.
I know, we have many more days
when it can become cold and icy or snowy.
But it feels like spring.
The winter pasture grasses
are greening.
Forsythia is blooming in town.
A neighbor’s Elm tree is budding.
It sounds like spring—
I heard a bird this morning
that could have been a Mockingbird.
I couldn’t see it
and its repertoire consisted of only two songs,
so I’m not sure.
But I am sure
that as the air reached 66 degrees
by late afternoon,
I heard the beautiful, plaintive call
of a Kildere!

Farmers, for the short-term,
are feeling quite fortunate:
last summer’s drought created a hay shortage
and the warm winter has meant
they haven’t had to feed as much,
so the hay supply may
get the cattle through the winter.
In the medium-term,
there are questions:
will the fruit trees bloom early too,
then suffer a freeze?
In the long term,
there’s concern:
Will confused plants adapt or not?
And what does that mean for food growers?
Are we headed into another summer
with months of triple digits?

Temperatures are expected to continue
in the mid-60’s this week;
then thunderstorms
(It feels like spring.)
By next week,
predictions are for cooler air
and night-time freezes.
I love spring
and it feels glorious.
But that’s not the point.