inter'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.