Monday, May 28, 2012

The Weather

Not a subject on which I can be particularly original, and not much news here for anyone either I expect, but it's more essential context as I get this project going again.

As most people will know, we've had very strange weather around here for quite a while. The winter before last was the snowiest on record. We had one huge storm after another from January 7 into mid-February, with no melting in between. It crushed buildings and stranded plows. I honestly don't know how old folks survived it, if they didn't have a lot of help. Then came a summer with two tropical storms and a freak October snowstorm that knocked out power for more than a week at a time, twice, over most of six states. Last winter was one of the mildest ever with only a single plowable snow fall, and that barely qualified at about 7 inches. Mostly it just rained all winter. People have been monitoring when the ponds freeze over and when ice breaks up as a marker of climate change, but nothing to monitor last winter -- the ponds never froze at all.

Then we had the hottest March in recorded history. My pear trees budded out and got frost nipped when the weather turned just normal again in April, so no pears this year. We had a severe drought during that time as well, with the dust blowing up in my footsteps. Fortunately the drought broke before most crops went in, though I did have to irrigate my onions, garlic and romaine for a while. Now the rainfall has been pretty good but the climate is summer-like hot and sultry all the time. Not looking forward to July and August at this rate.

As the climate changes, many people claim that southern New England will be one of the best places to be, at least from a human point of view. Maybe so, but we're still going to have to invest a whole lot of time and money trying to adapt. So I predict that will be a running theme here.

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