It was mid-December this year, just as Christmas Bird Counts were starting across Missouri and the rest of the country. Autumn's asters and goldenrods are dessicated little stalks with hardly even seedheads visible anymore, and winter botany games are well underway.
With the fluctuating temperatures last week, the snow is melting both naturally and because of rain events. The four inches of snow around Farmington quickly reduced to two inches and may exist only in patches now, but I can't be certain. The temperatures are conducive to hiking around streambanks these days, so if you'd like to catch Ozark witch hazel in bloom, I may suggest setting out soon, in early January, to see this harbinger of spring.