Monday, January 26, 2015

Unseasonably Warm

So while the Northeast is gearing up for a good old Nor'easter, we're expecting sunshine and near 60 again today once the fog burns off. I don't know what to say about the weather anymore, except that if you haven't noticed that it's changing, then you need to pay closer attention. This time of year we should be somewhere in the high 30s to low 40s and drizzly. There should be snow in the mountains- lots of it. Our snowpack is not where it should be- statewide, we're around 50 percent of where we should be. If we don't get some significant snowfall up there soon, we're likely looking at water shortages this summer here in our area.

The other hazard with nice weather this time of year is that the plants are starting to break dormancy. There are green onions sprouting in the garden, and the rhubarb looks to be waking up from its nap as well. The hazelnuts are starting to flower, about a month early if I recall correctly. We do have a history of random late freezes here, which can spell disaster when it follows a warm stretch like this. For us, it spells trouble when the fruit trees get started too soon: if the flowers open before the pollinators are around, we'll have a reduced crop. Worse yet, if they open and a freeze hits, we can lose all of our fruit for a season.

It's also a challenge to remember where we are in the season when it's like this. With the sun shining it's tempting to head out and start poking around in the garden, but there are 11 weeks remaining until our last frost date, and a lot can happen in between now and then. The ground is still too wet for even the earliest risers, but it sure is hard to resist. My potatoes are even starting to sprout in storage already!

So, I'm going to content myself with a little light weeding out in the garden today, and then I'll sit down in the sun with a cup of tea and my catalogs, to get my list ready so I have seeds here to plant in a couple of weeks.

What about you? Have you noticed that the weather has been shifting where you are too?

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