The ups, downs of warm winter

Daffodils and crocuses are just two flowers that are blooming up to a month earlier than normal. Both usually begin blooming in March, but this year, blooms were noticed in early February.

Flowers are blooming. Birds are chirping. There’s no snow or ice anywhere. With a high of 65 degrees expected Thursday, it feels a lot more like May than March in Manhattan.

But some New York City naturalists warn that an unusually warm winter isn’t always good news.
As today’s weather attests, winter in New York City this year was not much of a winter at all. In fact, Central Park had its warmest February on record, with temperatures averaging 40.9 degrees.
Meanwhile, there have been just 7.4 inches of snowfall this winter, compared to 61.9 inches a year ago, according to the National Weather Service.

Some flowers — including daffodils, crocuses, snow drops, winter jasmine and Japanese flowering apricots — have taken advantage of these conditions to bloom up to a month earlier than usual.

“They feel that winter is over, spring is here, bring on summer,” said Todd Forrest, vice president for horticulture and living collections at the New York Botanical Garden.

Daffodils and crocuses usually begin flowering in March, but this winter their blooms appeared in early February, according to Doug Blonsky, president of the Central Park Conservancy. But inordinately early blossoms are often susceptible to damage from late frosts, Forrest warned.

In other bad news, this may also be a banner year for mites, scale insects and other garden pests, whose populations are normally kept partially in check by winter cold spells. And since the ground never really froze, squirrels have been having a field day eating tulip bulbs, Forrest said.

“Those of us attached to our native wildlife and native plants do prefer our winters to be more normal,” he said.

Warm temps not good for all

new york. A warm winter is not good news for all insects, such as those that use snow as an insulating barrier during hibernation. But others may be able to access new food sources this spring, much to the chagrin of the city’s gardeners.

“In normal cold winters, the insects may not emerge early enough … to begin feeding on tender plant parts,” Lou Sorkin, a member of the New York Entomological Society, said in an e-mail. “A little later in the season, when insects normally emerge, the parts are tough and too difficult to chew or penetrate.” 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."