January Thaw

To be sure, Islanders worry about global warming, but when the weather turns from bitter cold with temperatures in the single digits to a balmy fifty degrees — as it did between last week and this — well, they might put the worries aside for a day or two.

Suddenly fleece and woolen layers are replaced by a light jacket, with gloves shoved in pockets while walking the dog. Hats are optional; the ears appreciate the mild air. Around the Vineyard, building contractors are out making hay while the sun shines, so to speak, and by the way the sun seems just a little stronger, the days just a little longer — don’t they?

But a walk in the woodlands reveals the dark side of the proverbial January thaw, if that is what this can be called. Winter moths, foiled by the Christmastime freeze, are fluttering about, laying their eggs in the bark of oak and pine trees.

And that means another caterpillar invasion is on the horizon for early next summer.

On second thought, let it snow again.