THE TATTERED WINTER REMAINS of a clump of local rabbit brush.

THE TATTERED WINTER REMAINS of a clump of local rabbit brush.

If this is Winter, what comes next?

It's been an unusually mild winter with little snow. Is Mother Nature going to make us pay for that with an awful Spring?

It’s been an odd Winter. I’m not complaining, mind you. I never complain about the heat and I will never complain about the lack of snow.

It’s just… unusual.

Two weeks to go before the start of Spring and already the trees are beginning to bud and the activity in my flowerbed is starting to worry me – so much so that I’ve been covering up those tender young shoots that we wait all Winter to see – because, although there’s only two weeks to go before the first day of Spring, we know not to trust the calendar.

There are no norms when it comes to weather, even though Environment Canada may say differently. There’s only a best guess.

And, while I may consider this perfect Winter weather, there are many who would disagree – ski resorts and other businesses who rely on snow. And ice. Cars on Ice actually had to cancel their season of racing on Barnes Lake.

People have been wondering how this is going to affect this year’s “fire season”, and no doubt the farmers and ranchers are concerned about the amount of moisture in the soil. If I had of known what this Winter was going to be like, I would have made sure all of my garden areas had a good thick layer of mulch covering them.

It’s amazing that we can walk on the moon but we are still at the mercy of the weather. We build shelters to escape from it, to withstand extreme weather and to give us the perfect indoor environment, but the fact is that “weather” can still intervene – tornados, mud slides, earthquakes, floods. It’s crazy.

And so, when I say this has been an odd Winter, I’m wondering what is going to follow. Will Spring be just as odd? If the early trend continues, will we have snow in September this year?

No one knows. Most people would be satisfied with not knowing, but the ones who make their living off of having the right weather at the right time can only cross their fingers and hope for the best.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep covering up any flower that shows itself before April.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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