Welcome to Rexburg, Idaho, 12-12-2012. See anything strange? Well, if you know anything about this part of the country there are all kinds of strange things in this photo. The strangest is what is missing. SNOW!
This is mid-December in SE Idaho, 80 miles south of Yellowstone National Park, 50 miles west of the Teton Mountain range, and at an elevation of a mile high. Even the foothills in the background are bare.
Last Saturday my family and I drove north to Island Park into the Targhee National Forest on our annual trek to cut a Christmas tree (you can get a USFS permit to do this for $10). Normally the snow up there is knee deep this time of year, but this year (and last year) there was no more than an inch or two on the ground when we went up to cut our tree.
Strange, strange, strange!
A week and a half ago we even had a thunderstorm!? This is not typical Rexburg weather.
As for the foreground...there's not a patch of snow to be seen. A few flakes came down earlier this afternoon, but it all melted as soon as it hit the ground.
When I looked out of my office window earlier today (the photo above is what I see - not bad, huh?) I saw people on bicycles, scooters, and even the occasional motorcycle. I also saw people wearing sweatshirts and jackets, and not even that many heavy coats, except for students from So Cal or AZ :-)
On an aside, I got an email from my folks the other day. They live in Wichita, Kansas. My Mom mentioned that they are seeing plants starting to push up through the ground they don't usually see until Spring. Man, are they confused...the plants, not my folks.
If this keeps up, plants and animals are going to get more and more ecologically confused as time goes by.
Oh, I'm confident that we will get snow eventually, but so far, it's a brown, brown holiday season.
Is this the new reality? Only time will tell.
What will the rest of the winter bring? Stay tuned.