Saturday, December 19, 2015

Local Saturday - It Was Different, All Right

January 1, 2015 feels like a million miles away now.

On January 1, I broke with tradition and decided to have a year that was DIFFERENT from any year I had before.

I succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. Nature even heard my call for being DIFFERENT and complied.  But not always in a good way.  Floods throughout parts of the world.  Severe drought in other parts of the world

You would think that a snowless winter would be a great idea here in the edge of the snowbelt, but, as I will explain shortly, it may not be.

Today, winter finally caught up with the good folks of upstate New York.  Some places have gotten well over 14 inches.  Lake effect snow warnings are in effect in many places.

This is what one of these looks like, in a parking lot here in Johnson City, New York about 12:30 this afternoon.  Earlier, there was ice.  Accidents.

There was snow on my camilla, my April Rose, the southern plant I am trying to grow in my zone 5b back yard.

But it could be worse.  Take this warning,  in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Warning Description: Lake Effect Snow Warning
Warning Date: 10:14 am EST on December 19, 2015
WarningSum:...Lake Effect Snow Warning Remains In Effect Until 10 Pm Est
This Evening...

Warning Message:* timing...occasional heavy lake effect snow showers will be
  likely into the afternoon hours. The snow will slowly taper off
  late this afternoon and evening.
* Snow accumulations...6 to 10 inches.
* Winds...west 15 to 25 mph.
* Impacts...snow will accumulate rapidly where lake effect snow 
  bands persist with very poor visibility. Blowing and drifting 
  snow will occur in open areas. 
Precautionary/preparedness actions...
In lake effect snow the weather can vary from locally heavy snow
in narrow bands to dry weather just a few miles away. If you will
be traveling across the region be prepared for rapid changes in
Road and visibility conditions. Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio
for further details or updates.
They aren't kidding about the "rapid changes in road and visibility conditions" either.  Winter here is a challenge.

I try to be nostalgic.  This was our weather forecast on December 13, just a week ago.  It was nice while it lasted.

It's supposed to warm up still again, after this weekend.  So why isn't that good?

Because there is a natural order of things.  In upstate New York, that natural order in the third week of Cecember is winter weather.

Which, as every reader of my blog knows, I hate.

But our ecology depends on winter.  We shouldn't have confused plants not knowing what to do. People shouldn't be mowing lawns. Washington DC shouldn't have cherry blossoms blooming.

When the winter weather finally comes, it will probably be sudden, and plants won't have time to adapt.  Just because a plant is cold hardy doesn't mean it doesn't need to adapt to the coming cold weather.  If it can't it may just die.

Last summer, after our harsh winter, beautiful blooms awaited in the spring.  We had a bountiful apple crop.  They were protected by snow.  Now, uncertainty rules.

I fear for my April Rose camilla.

But what will be will be.  So for now I enjoy my indoor poinsettias and my one blooming amaryllis. Maybe I'll even enjoy a nice cup of tea.

One thing I promise - I will not, ever, choose a word for the coming year like "different".

What kind of day did you have today?


  1. Weather here is still mild, but I truly understand the shock to plants. I stopped growing forsythia which would bud with an early thaw and then have its blossoms killed by frost.

  2. We're still chilly here. We had some rain yesterday. And I've been busy trying to get some Christmas presents made. Fun week.


Hello! I welcome comments, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.