There is a phenomenon long observed in the north country called the “January Thaw”.

I don’t really know and can not remember if it thaws every January but at least when warm weather interrupts our winter we have something to call it. I don’t think we have to completely thaw, that is all show and ice melting, but the weather must be above freezing for at least a few days.

For example, the weather goes from ten below zero to 20 F. we sarcastically remark, “well that’s our January thaw”, but in reality this example does not count. To be an official January thaw the temperatures would need to stay above freezing for 2 or 3 days.

In this years thaw everything is melted. The temperature has stayed above 32 degrees for something like a week or so, even at night. Phyllis came up from the greenhouse the other day and said she could hear the water sinking into the ground. With the early snow cover and now this warm weather the ground is not frozen yet and is more or less like a sponge.

This is good because we can easily open the cellar and greenhouse door and we are not using a lot of oil. But it is not so good in that the perennials are going up and down in temperature. It is better if they stay frozen for the winter and that is why we keep them in the shade this time of year. That way sun does not melt the show covering the containers.

It now looks like our temperatures will slowly drift back down to the 20’s and 30’s and that is fine with us. We can remember years when the temperature stayed below zero F. for weeks at a time, dipping to 30 and 40 below so anything in the 20’s and above is balmy by comparison.

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