Warm January days are powerful. Just ask this Saucer magnolia (Magnolia soulangeana). Its protective, insulated bud scales have broken open revealing the bud beneath.
This scale protects the bud from freezing. You understand how it is dangerous for the covering to open up before the danger is gone for more heavy freezing.
But wait. It gets worse.
At the risk of looking a gift-horse in the mouth, It just isn't right to see this pretty pink bloom opening up on January 31 in the Ohio Valley, zone 6a. I usually look for these in March.
Nearby, a Baby's breath spirea (Spirea thunbergii) shows its leaves.
While its buds swell, ready to put forth white blooms.