The Bay Area winter is notable for its lack of snow drifts and subzero (Fahrenheit) temperatures; though, from what I hear, that's true of virtually the entire country this this winter. But here's something that doesn't happen everywhere: in late January and early February, buds begin to flower. I've taken a picture of this particular bush before; it's a flowering quince just up the street from us. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, plums trees are big, showy piles of pink. It's almost enough to make you forget this year's non-winter.