Sunday, January 09, 2011

First cherry

While some have been grumbling about the cold winter, we've been having fairly mild weather. In fact Tokyo dropping as low as 1.8C made the news last week, with the first frost being 27 days later than average. Out in the sticks here it's been a bit colder, but still fairly mild (the problem with winters here is not that they are cold, but that it's as cold inside the house as out). In fact I spotted the first cherry when walking back from town today. Didn't have a real camera (and jules didn't notice it when she passed by later) so you'll have to make do with what my iPod can manage:

Technically, it's not really the first cherry of the year for us, as there is one species that flowers rather feebly right through the winter (the Japanese name means "October cherry") and we saw a few flowers on the tree in Zuisenji at about 12:05 am on the 1st. But this one (Kawazuzakura) is one of the earliest of the spring species. The Kawazu cherry festival down on the Izu peninsula runs from early February, and though it's hardly in full bloom yet, I see that our equivalent photo from 2007 was taken more than a month later. I therefore deduce that we are having an unusually warm winter here.


Anonymous said...

This is in line with your computer forecasts?


James Annan said...

The point is more that a short period of fairly cold or warm weather somewhere in the world doesn't have a great deal of relevance to global climate or climate change. Repeatedly and frequently setting new records, on the other hand, is another matter entirely...