Change of season: clearly spring is coming very soon to Chicago and environs. I'm by no means ready to let winter go. 2006-2007 was another unsatisfyingly warm and snow-sparse winter in the American midwest. Without a very cold winter, with prolonged freezing and good snow cover, the rest of the year risks drifting out of kilter. Birds migrate inappropriately soon and late; trees and other plants bud at risk of frost-bite; fruits ripen when they shouldn't,, and the animals that depend on them fatten up too early and never experience the stress needed to metabolize that fat as designed. While short winters translate to lower consumption of heating fuels, we spend the energy on cooling instead. Is it global or cyclical, permanent or transitory? I don't know, so I'll just go take my recycling down to the bins now.
Photo taken at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in mid-summer 2004.