Monday, June 1, 2015

They call the wind ...

Welcome to the first day of meteorological Summer. The temperature outside is a balmy 63°F. Normal high for this time of year is 74°F and the normal low of 54°F is notably warmer than last night's 44°F. I'm wondering if Minnesotans have developed some kind of bad karma when it comes to global warming, or if the state has an undiscovered invasive species full of bad karma bringing cooler temps, or if this weather is the answer to a number of Minnesotans' prayers because we're not supposed to get all that hot here up north, don't cha know?

beardtongue (Penstemon grandiflorus) in bloom
beardtongue (Penstemon grandiflorus) in bloom
Photo by J. Harrington

I've noticed during the past few days that the local beardtongue (Penstemon grandiflorus) has grown and is developing flower buds. I think the cooler Spring is contributing to blooms that will open in a week or two, perhaps later than the early parts May-July period listed, but then, May, and meteorological Spring, just ended yesterday. The pictures I have are from about the beginning of the third week in June 2013. According to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, " The 2013 meteorological spring season (March-May) exhibited cooler than normal temperatures and plenty of precipitation for Minnesota and surrounding regions." This year probably wasn't as cool but it was wetter, I think that puts it closer to 2013 than to the norm?

This morning I bumped into a nice piece of writing about the named winds, or lack thereof, in different places. National Geographic has an interesting sidebar on the topic. I know Minnesota has Alberta Clippers, but those are storms, not winds. I could find nothing yet to lead me to believe we have named winds for the local area. This is a piece that's been, as far as I recall, missing from the bioregional picture. I'm looking forward to doing some more structured research on this. Maybe some of Minnesota's First People had some names for our winds.

I like local art production (pottery kiln)
I like local art production (pottery kiln)
Photo by J. Harrington

I also came across an interesting writing exercise that I'm going to try and see if I can work into a bioregional profile outline. Lists are often writing prompts. Lists of what you like create great nesting opportunities: I like poetry::nature poetry::Mary Oliver's poetry::these poems by Mary Oliver. List what you like about your region.

Who Has Seen the Wind?

By Christina Rossetti
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.


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