It’s February 3rd and 64 degrees in western North Carolina. Naturally, the japonicas and forsythias think it’s spring and are full of buds and the occasional bloom or two. This is definitely not the February I remember when I was a kid living around here fifty (gasp!) years ago. There are supposed to be snow showers next week so I’m not sure what will happen with these spring shrubs. Don’t get me wrong, I love spring and get a case of its fever as bad as the next person. There used to be the occasional unseasonably warm day, but I don’t remember so many of them back then as there are now and seems like we got a lot more snow back in the “olden days.” Here in the southern mountains where I live, we often are on the line between just above freezing and slightly below, so an average temperature rise of 2 or 3 degrees over the years definitely can affect our weather. Maybe spring really is just around the corner — Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow yesterday — but either way, over my lifetime in these mountains the seasons are definitely changing.