Sunday, September 20, 2009

Climate Change Day


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The predicted cold is here this morning. One morning star shines brightly in the sky as light pokes up from Peacham Pond. The thermometer reads 30.2 degrees and it will drop some more as the sun rises. It's still too dark to see the grass but I know in time the lower daylily nursery will appear, frosty white and cold. Climate change.

I have avoided discussions and opinions about climate change. Climate change to me is when I look at the wood pile and congratulate myself on this year's well seasoned wood supply, properly stacked and covered or in the cellar for easy access. Climate change is a reminder that next year's wood supply needs to be out of the woods and at least split for stacking. This year I can congratulate myself again. Climate change is when geese fly by, hummingbirds leave or reappear (September 4-5-6 and May 7-8-9) or woodcock appear in the road on a rainy spring night to eat a dinner or breakfast of worms. Climate change.

This summer has been a good example against global warming. The air conditioner, purchased expressly so two tired gardeners could get some sleep when outside temperatures exceed 80 degrees on back-to-back days, remains in the cellar collecting dust. 90 degree days were absent this year and 80 degree days were finger counters and few-to-none here on the mountain.

15 inches of rain in July continued a stretch that began when the last snows of winter were still on the ground. The lawns smelled of too much rain and certain crops either never germinated at all or succumbed to a variety of fungal problems. Right now the Lilium canadense seed pods are still green and unopened and I have time to find some and plant them along the water ways or back swamps. Climate change.

The platform bird feeder remains seed-free for fear of bears which are frequenting more than we like. The feeder is a challenge for me as I love to watch birds but putting out seed now is the wrong thing to do. I may break down before the bears head for slumber around Thanksgiving but it's all a question of temperature. The feeder needs to be washed first with bleach and water anyway. And where are the chickadees? Some say they are moving north to a colder climate but cold is what we have here this morning. Climate change.

We just returned from Maine and saw the best striped bass catches we've seen in 30 years. The ocean temperature is also the warmest it's been in over 100 years. That would be back before 1909. Climate change.

The picture up top is one I took at Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens. Locally they call it "Whale Rock" (see just below) . We love Maine just as we love Vermont--with or without climate change.


Time to head out for a walk with Karl the wonder dog. Karl's internal clock tells him when it's time to head out. As cooler weather approaches, it's more obvious how well he can predict what is going on outside. If we were walking at the botanical gardens, we might be traveling down a walk such as this one of cut granite. Here in Marshfield, we're heading out the woods road. Wish you could be walking with us.





From the mountain above Peacham Pond where the frost is thick on the grass. No more tomatoes, cukes, beans or squash this year. Better start digging the potatoes and see how well they did.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener




4 comments:

farmerkareem said...

Your pictures and writing are both beautiful. I was surprised to hear of the cool weather you're having. I live just east of Calgary, AB, Canada, and we are at 85 F (32 celsius) today. That's a very hot day in the summer, nevermind fall in these parts. Thank you for sharing your passion.

Brian Morley said...

I enjoyed your post very much...no frost yet in my area, but still lots of rain, I'm cleaning out the greenhouse, a chore I don't relish, but the time is near! Brian

George Africa said...

Hello farmerkareem;

I'm always interested in the weather, especially anything west of here as in time it too arrives. Today is a beautiful fall day with temperatures rising into the 70's and bright sun and blue, cloudless sky. There's a slight breeze as the next front appears.

If you frequent any special blogs in the Calgary region, I am interested. That's a different type of gardening there and I'd like to learn more about it.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener

George Africa said...

Hello Brian;

Lots of greenhouse cleaning going on here on the east coast this year as the late blight on tomatoes and potatoes has made gardeners crazy. I never thought I'd see my neighbor cry but one morning he walked out to his tomatoes and they were beautiful and beginning to turn color. The next day they were covered with giant splotches of black and then they all died.

Although it's a lot of work keeping a clean greenhouse, it pays dividends. We don't have a serious one --just a small one I use as a solar wood dryer and a spring annual plant "jump starter"

Fall signals "change" and I will be writing about various changes soon. I notice that Blog Action Day 2009 has chosen Climate Change as this year's topic. I encourage folks to go to that site http://blogactionday.org to join and offer thoughts.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener