We had snow in Chicago this past weekend, followed by temperatures in the single digits. This puts me in mind of how rude it is for guests to arrive excessively early, as when January decides to show up in November.

Our house on November 10th, 2019

The question is, what does this portend for the rest of winter. According to the Weather Channel’s Winter 2019-2020 Outlook just released today, it portends lousy. My part of the country is supposed to have a normally cold December, or something close to it. But January and February are supposed to be in definite “Colder Than Average” country.

This isn’t true for everywhere in the country, so you might want to check out the Outlook yourself. Here’s a link. 


Of course, Colder Than Average can mean a lot of things, so it might not be so bad. Or it might be.

November’s sudden attack of cold and snow did a number on many plants that had been holding onto their leaves. Suddenly they went from green to freeze-dried. It was all very abrupt.

snow on March 23
Me on the way to Springfield after a March snowstorm in 2015.

It’s unwise to spend a lot of time worrying about something you can’t control, but who said I was wise? I can look on the bright side, though: with the ground frozen, the damn rodents can’t dig up my bulbs.

52 Comments on “Winter’s Rude Arrival”

  1. I laughed out loud at your comment about the rodents, but really got me was the photo of you heading off in March. If that’s not an expression of weary resignation on your face, I don’t know what it is. With luck, this snow will melt and things will moderate a bit. You deserve a bit of respite.

  2. Looking at the photo of you in the snow, really brings home to me how difficult every day life must become…..imagine catching planes in that weather? …..if they are able to take off and land.
    Here’s hoping the bulbs are enjoying, and growing in this weather.

  3. LOL at your “silver lining”! Only today has the ground thawed enough from the now-retreating arctic dip for the squirrels to bury their winter stashes. I see them hard at work and just look away; I don’t even want to know where they’re digging. May’s crop of black walnut seedlings will tell the tale…

  4. You did make me laugh ! .. about the rodents and bulbs,that is .. Last Saturday I was on my hands and knees trying to break up some soil in the front garden, for those last daff bulbs I wanted to plant .. it was just too frozen out front .. but by golly ? I was able to dig up enough soil in random spots in the back garden to get them in .. no wasted bulbs even though it upset my planting design in the front garden curve, for Spring … there is always next year right ?
    This year .. winter came harder and faster than in a multitude of years .. it is going to be a VERY long winter I fear.

  5. You are looking a bit frosted yourself! According to the link you gave, I am exactly on the line between slightly below and slightly above average for the winter. Which probably means we will have our typical yo-yo temperature swings from too cold to too warm, and no one can predict what season tomorrow will be!

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