The first winter aconite is up: that's a record here in this garden. The winter aconites here typically begin to bloom about two weeks after reports come of blooming aconites in other local gardens. Tommies have started to bloom, too. Many hellebores are in full bloom - I picked the small bouquet shown above this afternoon.
The unnerving thing is that winter can hardly be said to have started here; so far there has been only one day when the temperature did not get above the freezing point. Occasional drops into the single digit range are not unknown for February, so there might be trouble ahead.