I transplanted daffodils last fall.
They’d all grown up together in a clump, 40 bulbs dumped together, and I carefully separated them and scattered them through the flower bed, waiting for spring.
It’s the middle of January and most years the ground is frozen solid and buried under snow that won’t melt for weeks. But this year?
My daffodils have thrust their heads already through the dirt, lured by sunshine and temperatures dancing in the 40s.
This is the kind of January I like.
It’s an unusual year, several degrees above the average following two abnormally cold winters. It rains more often than than it snows, and while frost forms thick on the car windshield and the pre-dawn walk to work is cold in the pale moonlight, the afternoons warm up and the sun shines full through the windows.
I wrote about this last month, trying to find something to say between holidays. We always write about the salt supply at some point in the winter. But this year, told to write about salt supplies that had hardly been touched, it was hard to know what to say.
The weatherman told me the warmer averages should stick around all winter, and that there’s a 10 degree differential this year over last. The gas company told me how my gas bill would be lower. Township supervisors said they’d have extra money to put toward potholes and drains this summer, since they weren’t spending it on salt and overtime pay for the plow men.
It’s kind of strange, calling people and asking them to say what I already know. My own gas bill is lower; and the daffodil heads tell me the winter has been mild. But mostly our readers don’t want to hear about my garden or bills, and so I make the phone calls, ask others to say what I already noticed.
It won’t last entirely, of course. Temperatures drop this weekend, when afternoon rain today and tomorrow turns to snow Friday and Saturday and the thermostat won’t rise above freezing. But that’s to be expected; it is January in Western Pennsylvania, after all.
It’s the sunshine and the frequency of crossing over into the 40s that makes me wonder if I’m altogether sure where I am.
And I’m loving it.