Cecile was just telling me about a dinner where the guests noted the sudden profusion of mangoes in supermarkets. Apparently mango season came early this year: mangoes don’t usually arrive till summer. According to a food writer, the mangoes were confused by shifts in the weatherâ€”they thought it was already summer, so they bore fruit.
Meanwhile, our correspondent reports that “Winter in Austria is the all-time damp squib. When I arrived last September the locals took great pleasure in warning me of just what was in store: Snow-drifts of one metre, heaping up in only 50 minutes…Birds falling lifeless from the sky like feathered bricks…Icicles of snot hanging from one’s nostrils…Well, that was last winter. This winter we’ve so far seen six snowflakes and the temperature has dropped fractionally below freezing on maybe ten nights since late October. The buds on the trees are beginning to burst and the birds are so fat they can barely screw each other, which they’ve already begun doing. Local sages and ancients shake their hoary heads and say ‘It isn’t over yet. I well remember in the winter of 1929…’ etc. It’s all rather cheering, and most of all that ski resorts are going broke. God knows they’ve done enough to disfigure the Alps in the last half-century. Maybe now the innocent mountains will be allowed to reclaim some of their ‘Sound of Music’ virginity, and bunches of Edelweiss will be back on sale and children in Lederhosen will pipe up ‘Doe, a deer, a female deer’ in marketplaces throughout the land. . .”
I heard from someone else that the migratory patterns of birds were changing suddenly, as if their instinctual clocks were out of kilter. Confused fruit and disoriented birds. Weird weather and ecological imbalance. What next: Snow in the tropics?