Flower blooms and snow

Writer Eugene Baldwin does not need to consult weather records to know how winters near his Illinois home have changed.

Baldwin: “I live in a place which is at the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers. The landscape is absolutely stunning … and so I walk every day and I write essays about what I see.”

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His writing echoes research that shows the frost-free season is growing longer as temperatures rise. In one essay, he writes that weather in December and January can now be spring-like.

Baldwin: “Many of the tadpoles have legs – in December. Earthworms are coiled under rocks. Water striders skate and flies buzz my head. A snake den holds no hibernators. Redbud trees are showing bloom and the forest floor is a water color tapestry of wildflowers popping out of the ground.”

To Baldwin, these signs of warming are troubling.

Baldwin: “I have friends who love it because they stand outside and post pictures of themselves doing barbecues on Christmas day. To me, it is a sign that something is direly wrong with our environment.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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