Perhaps as a result, oddball nature stories started rolling out. In some areas, fruit trees bloomed too early and then got socked by a light frost. Mosquitoes emerged weeks earlier than normal, making for an unusually long mosquito season — and the worst year for mosquito-borne West Nile virus.
Bugs of all types that normally don’t overwinter very well, survived the winter of 2011-12 quite well, and so there was an unusually fierce infestation of certain types of insects. Some veterinarians in the area reported that 2012 was a banner year for fleas. Given the growth of Lyme disease, the impact the mild winter had on the tick population was also unwelcome.
It was a strange year, one that didn’t feel quite right for our region of the country. The mild winter last year was one of the leading causes.
So there is something good, healthy, and maybe even purifying about having a long, cold New England winter. Well, not too long or too frigid — but a reasonable number of cold, snow-filled days in December and January feels about right.