Change of Seasons
Just a bit of climate description for posterity. There are several such entries the backnumbers of the blog roll, and they can be compared for a record of how the weather is, or seems to me to be, getting crazier and crazier.
Now that we have passed the middle mark of February, and are certainly past the traditional coldest point of the year by the lunar calendar, it is probably safe to say that winter is over, and that we had no snow worth mentioning.
Speaking strictly from the limited vantage point of my own veranda, the local flora went through the last few months without significant seasonal changes. We had wrapped our lemon trees to prevent their freezing, and it seems that under the gauze their leaves have barely changed colour, let alone dropped off. The fig trees lost their leaves, but have held onto buds which appear eternally on the verge of bursting into bloom. The roses never stopped flowering. Kale and green onions continue to persist without growth amid fallow plots of hardy grasses.
This is in the wake of a series of cold waves that rocked the United States and Europe with record temperatures so low that people were advised to avoid breathing outside. There was a brief scare of such drastic temperature drops in Hokkaido as well, but here in Tottori I never once felt it was quite cold enough to sting my ears when riding the bicycle. I recall slipping a bit on frosty sidewalks and seeing frequent thermometer readings of zero and below in the mornings last winter, but this year such instances were so rare that at the moment I cannot recall a single example.
Of course, if we do face a sudden blizzard or something, I will be totally wrong--and I will be sure to make a grand show of calling attention to how wrong I was, with a bit of gleeful hope for some remnant of climactic stability in future--but at this point it is highly unlikely.