This past winter, with the exception of the absence of a January thaw, was a typical winter of the first 25 years of my life.
I am two months from being 80.
Heavy snowfall in November. More in December. Melting snow and ice was always a feature on Easter Sunday in April before another snowfall would show up a week or so later.
One of my college degrees was in Geography. Climate was a required subject of study. We became aware of geology and rock formations, the Ice Age, the mini-Ice Age, the history and nature of the Earth’s constant change. More has been discovered since those days…..even a political claim that according to certain political computers, the eastern part of the United States where wealthy folks have built homes along the beautiful shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Mother Earth is going to boil over and people drown due to white man’s inventions over the past 400 years.
Elsewhere, creatures big and small, animal and vegetable, will be gassed.
Selfishly, living, landscaping, and gardening in Minnesota, I have welcomed cozy Februarys, sunnier Marches, and warmer Decembers. I have been rooting for Horticultural Zone 5 for my gardens and business for years. We in the western Twin City Suburbs were almost there. Folks in Minneapolis were already ‘occasionally’ there where some luckies could plant some winter-surviving Lace leaf Japanese Maples.
Until this past winter of 2013-14 when the cold and wind mustered a massive killing of woody plants. No January thaw, and it is still freezing in the touch of morning. And we in the Northland here are still waiting for Summer now in July. Could this be all bad?
For two summers in the not too distant past, Mount Pinatubo exploded in the Phillipines. For two summers we had only Spring weather. My azaleas and rhododendrons were in bloom for a month, some popped out a bloom or two even later on. Yet gardened grounds weren’t as lush as they are this year. Then we didn’t get summer shivers, and weren’t washed away with daily downpours of rain.
This season the garden greenery which survived the winter is so rich in leaf and growth, I almost feel threatened as I try to find my way through my and clients’ garden paths. I almost feel claustrophobic and Summer has only begun.
This following a Winter which was a plant Killer. Wind attacks while temperatures dropped to minus 20 plus Fahrenheit were Nature’s primary weapons. Get used to it, Gopherland. The Russians are preparing for the seven decades or so ahead of Global Cooling. Unlike certain American politicos, the Russians don’t seem to be using the returning cold as a political weapon, even against Americans.