It is the hottest year on record in the United States (USAToday). In Arkansas our winter lasted about 10 days then we began a cycle of above normal record breaking temperatures. The Cherry and Magnolia Trees began to bud and bloom in February and March. In DC they had to moved the Cherry Blossom Festival ahead several weeks. It is currently mid May and I discovered Asters blooming, usually they appear in Hot Springs National Park in late summer or after the first frost of autumn.
The light in the park feels different, the color of the leaves are not the deep rich green of years past. It is as if the new foliage was unable to fully open and complete the upper canopy. The overly bright heated Forest floor has created the perfect landscape for the park reptiles. I have seen more snakes, box turtles and lizards in the first 4 months of this year than in the past two years combined.
Although this is only one small eco-system it is obvious the Forest is undergoing a dramatic climate change. What have you noticed in your part of our precious planet?
Love to ALL!