Friday, October 12, 2012

The First Ice and the Last Flowers

In 1492, Columbus may have sailed the ocean blue.  But in 2012, on what used to be Columbus Day, we started our day in Binghamton, NY with ice pellets and ended up with a mad dash to get plants under cover for a predicted hard freeze.

A hard freeze - we haven't even had a frost yet!

Ice pellets?

Early spring, early fall.  And there is an old folk belief that the earlier the first hard freeze, the harsher the winter.
(Civil War monument, Courthouse Lawn, Binghamton, NY 10-12-12, photo courtesy of AM)
The last downtown Binghamton farmers market, shrunken down to two booths, shivered in the winds of a day where it only got to 51 degrees.  A few people stopped by to check out the cabbages and apples. 

Goodbye growing season.

On the West Side of Binghamton, a mystery purple flower bravely bloomed in the cold.
And at our house, a rosemary, not yet potted up for the winter (they can't survive our winters outdoors), blooms.  (The flowers are purple - I have no idea why they photographed blue).

Since it was the Columbus Day of my youth (back when Columbus Day was October 12), I thought I would end the post with our local downtown statue of Christopher Columbus  Never mind that he didn't discover America, and that many people already there were sorry he ever found it, there his statue is...

Now I can only hope the folklore is wrong and we have another mild winter.  A winter without ice. A winter without snow.  It almost happened last year.  Wouldn't it be nice if the first ice was also the last ice?

Goodbye, flowers.  Goodbye, summer.  Goodbye, warmth.  See you next spring.

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