Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Signs of Fall

Image: Giant Swallowtail Butterfly on the very fragrant Phlox "David".

During the 2009 Spring and Summer, I was so happy to see flowers blooming early. In some cases, a month before the previous years. Always eager for their beauty, I was in the moment.

The down side: It appears Fall will be coming early this year. Some signs:
  1. Our walnut trees are the first to loose their leaves but this process started about two weeks ago.

  2. The fall blooming pink phlox started blooming a month ago. Whites and other hybrids started about two weeks ago.

  3. The Naked Lady lilies are up about two feet as I write today. They often bloom in September.

  4. I seldom have hummingbirds in my gardens except during migration in the early Spring and late Fall. I've had hummingbirds the past week.

  5. My husband is insulating and plugging air leaks around the windows in preparation of cold winds.
Unless you like typical Midwest very hot humid weather, this summer has been ideal. With all the rain, the flowers and gardens have been lush. (Weeds too but who counts those.) We've had very few severe summer storms or tornadoes. Very few fields have had hail or wind damage.

I know it's not too late for bad weather. Not too late for extremely hot and humid. In fact our corn and other vegitable crops could use some of those temperatures. But, grant me this: It's been an unusual summer and so far I'm counting it great.

Here are some old "weather indicator" sayings:

If the oaks put on acorns early, it will be a long winter.

Take the breastbone of a goose and lay it to dry. If it dries all white, it will be a mild winter. If the tips turn purple, it will be a cold spring. If most of the bone turns black, blue or purple, it will be a cold winter. The logic of this is a goose will store up extra oil/fat in preperation of a cold winter and this turns dark as the bone dries.

"Let us permit Nature to take her own way; She better understands her own affairs than we." Michel De Montaigne.

The Old Farmers' Almanac predicts averages for August will be 3 degrees below normal and a half inch over the average on rain.

The National Weather Service (NOAA) says we will be experiencing El Nino the next three months which will mean dryer and warmer over the central states. History also indicates there are fewer large severe tornado outbreaks in El Nino periods.

Local "farmer talk" is saying we will have a long and mild Fall.

As for me: I'm enjoying the beauty of the gardens and the mild weather as much as my time will allow. Last evening we had fresh sweet corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Life is good.

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