Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter: Coming Soon?


Winter's been a bit odd this year.  Perhaps the first sign that something was different was the little orange berries staying on the tree.  Every year, as winter approaches, a bunch of Amseln (European blackbirds) come and completely clean the tree of berries by the end of November. (They're awesome - they toss the berries up a little and swallow them.)  This year, they didn't come, and the photo above shows all the berries still hanging on the tree on a sunny day last week.

Then all the bulbs kept coming up, one after another, all through December and January.  Now I don't know if they'll come up and bloom in the Spring when they're actually supposed to!

Maybe all that has nothing to do with the weather - maybe the local Amseln all relocated and I planted the bulbs wrong.  But the weather has been warm.  Heidelberg's winters have always been warm as long as I've been here, at least by my standards.  (Which are slowly slipping.  I'm quite sure I'd never again survive an Iowa winter after getting all soft living here by the Rhine plain.)  However, this is definitely the first winter that we've made it to January 29 without having to ever turn on the heat!

Unfortunately, I think my dreams of a super-low Nebenkostenabrechnung (our method of paying for the heat) are going to be shattered later this week.  Wednesday's high is -2'C/28'F. I might have to get out the wool coat - I might even get to use the tweed scarf I made this summer out of all that tweed I forgot in Donegal!  (I don't know though.  That thing is REALLY warm.  Maybe I could survive an Iowa winter again after all, with that thing...)  Amusingly, the weather forecast on TV referred to the weather later this week simply as WINTERKALT.  (Winter cold.)  A special type of cold.  Cold-cold.

Stay warm, all.


  1. It's so mild here it reminds me of England! We're down by the river in Wiesbaden so it's that damp cold that gets into your bones. I'm hoping for crisp days with blue skies. Here's hoping.


  2. I could put that scarf to good use out here in Seattle! ;)

  3. @Tom - I hope for the same - cold is worth it to see some sun! "Crisp" may be too much to ask for in Heidelberg though; this is one moist city!

    @Sara - I've got more tweed scraps if you want em :)

  4. My bulbs started coming up, too. I don't think you planted them wrong, they just thought Spring was here. I'm actually glad for the very cold so that there will be fewer insects this summer.

  5. Apparently, they're keeping all the Winter in Romania. Cliff's there for a week and looking forward to the high never breaking -7 C°/20 F°. #expatweathernetwork

  6. It has been so cold, but not felt that bad. I'm not normally a gloves kind of gal, but these last few days have been so bad!


I love commenters!