1. By DrData
    December 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm | permalink

    Odd weather. It is pretty warm today, although still not quite dandelion weather.

  2. December 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm | permalink

    According to my erratic garden log, it has been in the 40s for most of recent weeks. I have at least two dandelions in exuberant bloom, and about 4 that have gone to seed heads.

  3. By suswhit
    December 27, 2011 at 8:54 am | permalink

    Here’s a fascinating animation of the changing hardiness zones. [link] It shows Michigan as mostly zone 6. Not too long ago, but pre 1990 animation apparently, Michigan was mostly zone 4.

  4. December 27, 2011 at 9:31 am | permalink

    #3: YIKES!

  5. December 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm | permalink

    Yes, this (#3) is a well-noted phenomenon. Note that the hardiness zones are merely a measure of annual minimum temperatures. Actual changes in the ability of plants to survive in a particular zone are also affected by moisture regimes, maximum temperature, and other environmental parameters that are not reflected in the minimum temperature readings.

    The stages of plant development (phenology) are influenced by the entire range of environmental parameters and their interaction. Phenological markers have been recognized as useful in tracking climate change, and there are international efforts to gather data for this purpose. Here is a visualization tool that has been developed to examine data collected around the United States. [link]

  6. By Brandon
    December 27, 2011 at 6:31 pm | permalink

    And who says climate change is not observable?

  7. By John Floyd
    December 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm | permalink

    So much for the Old Farmer’s Almanac. It predicted a harsh winter – above average snow, below average temperature. Instead, eels like we are in permanent November. Maybe I can plant those last bulbs that I didn’t get to in the Fall.