Season Confusion

Just before I typed this, I have finished frost-proofing most of my semi-tender plants in containers. The forecast says that we will have some cold Arctic air arriving tonight and it will get down to around 34F with the next night even colder. Normally what we have here in the Bay Area is dry freeze with clear nights and no wind. For that I usually just put up umbrellas and awnings, and use anti-transpirant such as Cloud Cover if it is below 28F. But this time it looks like it is going to be a rare wet freeze. Hopefully it will not go down below 32F, or my garage will be completely filled with plant refugees.

This year is an El Nino year, and usually that means wetter but milder weather through the winter. I still remember the last major El Nino in 1998 when it seemed to have rained non-stop from January to May with a few flooding events thrown in. So far this fall is a particularly mild one as proven by these wild mustards at an empty former orchard field near where I live:

Mustard Field
Fields of gold

Individual Flower

Normally this kind of show is reserved for March, but this year is definitely not normal. One English poet once said: “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”. It seems like spring has cut the line this time and I hope that she won’t get punished too severely.