Saturday, May 3, 2014

Our new world?

Some of the wildflowers in front (East side) of the house are starting to bloom. The outside faucet has been restored to service. Today's temperature has exceeded 50 degrees. These signs of the season prompted me to look back through photos taken in prior years. The thud you may have heard a few minutes ago was my jaw landing on the floor. Here's the pear tree in bloom from 2012. Notice the month and date. This year we're still looking at bare branches.

pear tree in bloom April 15, 2012
April 15, 2012                  © harrington

Even more surprising, at least to me, is that, in 2012, the day lilies in late March had grown more than they have by early May this year.

day lilies March 24, 2012
March 24, 2012             © harrington

I'll admit that I haven't paid as much attention to climate change reporting as I probably should have. One of the things I have read about is the likelihood that storms will become more intense and that weather will be more volatile. I don't recall reading anything about an increase in the year to year volatility of seasonal patterns. If that were to happen, it seems to me that we would all be much worse off than seeing Spring occur several weeks earlier and then have that new "start date" stabilize. Variability from year to year would present significant issues regarding what farmers could plant and when, depending on how long the growing season would be from year to year, whether there would be sufficient supplies of seeds for varieties of row crops and food crops that could mature within the growing season. I'm sure glad that our Minnesota legislature and state agencies have made addressing climate change such a priority. Of course, they're only building on the really helpful platform Congress has created over the past few years. That kind of leadership should make adaptation to our new world fairly easy. Don'cha' think? Fortunately, Gary Snyder points us to something we can rely on, until global warming melts it.

The Snow on Saddle Mountain

The only thing that can be relied on
is the snow on Kurakake Mountain.
fields and woods
thawing, freezing, and thawing,
totally untrustworthy.
it's true, a great fuzzy windstorm
like yeast up there today, still
the only faint source of hope
is the snow on Kurakake mountain.

Gary Snyder


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