Through Dec. 30, the average temperature in Portland was 34.9 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
That was 7.1 degrees above normal and 0.1 degrees higher than the warmest December on record, set in 2001.
If that isn't enough, The USDA Zone maps are being revised, and many of us northerners are experiencing climate creep. The American Horticultural Society is reporting that the maps are in the process of being re-drawn.
Selfishly, I have really enjoyed using less fuel to heat my home this fall, and I'm really enjoying the ability to include a few more tender plants in the garden. Unfortunately, the drawbacks are pretty horrendous, though. Poison ivy loves this new weather patterns, and is demonstrating through luxurious growth, as are some other evils such as Japanese knotweed and Japanese honeysuckle. It is also just plain hotter in the summers, and I'm more likely to sunburn. Sigh.
Well, we've insulated and wind proofed this old house as best we can (and it is an ongoing project), I'm driving a fuel efficient car and I carpool, I'm trying to buy locally, and we're planting trees and shrubs like mad. I'm working on making the lawn mower obsolete, too. I'll keep working on it. In the meantime, best wishes to all for a happy and health new year!