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Frogs, trees and bees are deceived by winter's unseasonal warmth

United Kingdom

By Lauren Veevers
Published: 14 January 2007

January 13, traditionally the coldest day of the year, passed yesterday as ONE OF THE WARMEST ON RECORD. Temperatures averaged 12C, above the seasonal average by 9C. More record-breaking warmth is expected this month, confusing plants and animals that should now be dormant. Daffodils, normally in bloom in March, are already out in St Mawes in Cornwall. "The Crocus tomassinianus was in flower on New Year's Day, which is A RECORD. This is nine days earlier than any on our records, which go back to the 1950s. We've also got Narcissus February Gold that's already five inches through the ground, which we shouldn't really be seeing for another month. Quite a number of plants haven't gone to sleep as they usually do. I would describe it as a case of 'no winter'." Flowers are still in bloom that winter frost would normally have killed. Oak trees are still in leaf and rhododendrons in bloom. Frogspawn has also come early in some parts of the country. "We've got dragonflies hovering over our ponds, bumble bees still buzzing and looking for pollen, crab apples still on trees ... It's as if winter never started." "We had winter flowering vibernums flowering back in December - at least a month earlier than they should. The

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