Tuesday, August 27, 2013

To everything, there is a season

photo of trees covered with Minnesota hoar frost
© harrington

Welcome. Today we're at the halfway point of the Where you at bioregional quiz. We're up to question "10.    How long is the growing season where you live?" And I thought, being unduly optimistic for a change, that this would be a fairly easy and straightforward question. Here's the table of the growing season length for Forest Lake, which is right down the road.

Derived from 1971-2000 Averages

Base  Median  Shortest  10%  90%  Longest
32 158 128 140 178 191
30 165 138 143 186 194
28 179 150 163 207 210
24 200 150 174 216 225
20 215 189 195 230 248
16 228 197

So, is the question based on median at 32°F? That would seem reasonable. Then the answer is 158 days. I suspect one of the unspecified variables is also growing season for which plant or plants and how frost resistant are they? This seems to be another example of the more you know, the more you need to know. Speaking of knowing more, Joyce Sutphen's poem seems to note growth in every season, growth in awareness and caring.

The Farm

By Joyce Sutphen
My father’s farm is an apple blossomer.
He keeps his hills in dandelion carpet
and weaves a lane of lilacs between the rose
and the jack-in-the-pulpits.
His sleek cows ripple in the pastures.
The dog and purple iris
keep watch at the garden’s end.

His farm is rolling thunder,
a lightning bolt on the horizon.
His crops suck rain from the sky
and swallow the smoldering sun.
His fields are oceans of heat,
where waves of gold
beat the burning shore.

A red fox
pauses under the birch trees,
a shadow is in the river’s bend.
When the hawk circles the land,
my father’s grainfields whirl beneath it.
Owls gather together to sing in his woods,
and the deer run his golden meadow.

My father’s farm is an icicle,
a hillside of white powder.
He parts the snowy sea,
and smooths away the valleys.
He cultivates his rows of starlight
and drags the crescent moon
through dark unfurrowed fields.

Since we're now halfway through, this seems like a good time to share the scoring. (You are keeping score, aren't you?)

  • 0-3 You have your head up your ***.
  • 4-7 It's hard to be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all.
  • 8-12 A firm grasp of the obvious.
  • 13-16 You're paying attention.
  • 17-19 You know where you're at.
  • 20 You not only know where you're at, you know where it's at.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you're enjoying this (or at least learning something about Where you're at). Come again when you can. Rants, raves and reflections served daily.