Eerie November periwinkle bloom a sign of climate change?


Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

Lines Written in Early Spring, by William Wordsworth, 1798

PeriwinkleUnseasonably warm temperatures in Toronto have made for a very pleasant lead into a winter that is projected to be bitingly cold and snowy, according to readers of the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Outdoors this morning in slippers and shirtsleeves for a quick dart to the curb to place an unwanted trifle on the front wall for urban scavengers to make off with, a hint of purple from the leafy flowerbed caught my eye.

I lingered. There among the autumnal leaves was a delicate periwinkle, not usually seen to bloom around these parts until spring, which in Toronto can be as late as May.

I rustled through the unraked leaves by hand in the garden in search of more, but found none and no sign of spring bulbs emerging, despite temperatures that have been as much as 10 degrees warmer than usual.

I cast my eye skyward to see if the trees were also in bud, but so far they are still shedding leaves.

Climate change naysayers take heed.

TWO DAYS LATER – Nov. 21, 2016

Apart from the early blooming periwinkle, this snowy image is more typical for November weather in Toronto.

snowy periwinkle

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