So this morning's rain turned to snow! That's twice now, and it's still October...
But I did notice, on my afternoon walk, that the witch hazel in the woods behind my house is blooming. There are two kinds of witch hazel - one that blooms late in the fall, and one that blooms early in the spring, late winter, really. So depending on the variety, witch hazel blooms last of the season, or first, but either way, it is fun to see blooms when few are around. The bushes that grow wild behind my house are the fall blooming type, Hamamelis virginiana, while the one I planted in my yard is the February blooming type, Hamamelis vernalis. To me they look quite similar, and I can't tell them apart, except when they are blooming.
As well as being an interesting plant, witch hazel is medicinal - I have a bottle in my medicine cupboard. It is good for bug bites, small cuts and other such ailments that benefit from an astringent. It has been used for centuries, and is still good today, as evidenced by this Boston Globe article.
And it is supposed to warm up as the week progresses, so I don't think the snow will stick around.