By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – How much warmer was it last winter? Well, about a year ago, I planted blueberry bushes that I’d bought in the fall but hadn’t gotten into the ground yet.

Not only was there no snow a year ago, the soil was still warm enough in late January that I could easily get a shovel into it; so I went ahead and planted those shrubs, and they did just fine. They loved all the rain (remember all that rain we had in May and June?), and bloomed their pretty little white bellflowers in spring, which by summer became the blueberries we picked to make pancakes and muffins.

This winter, the only shovel I’m using is for snow. While the blueberry bushes grew well last year, by last week, only their top branches were still showing in the sunshine above the bright white snow.

Covered with buds, those blueberry branches are the very picture of patience. They know that winter won’t win in the end. No matter how many snow days we have, it will melt, they’ll drink it in, and get back to the business of making blueberries soon enough.