Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The January Butterfly

So, a piece in the local paper here reports that, all arguments about Global Warming by politicians aside, the people who really pay attention to such things, gardeners, have no doubts that spring is coming sooner. The proof of which is that the little map of the U.S. with different colored zones representing where to plant a given seed in March, or April, or May, is being revised to represent 5-degree shift since the last time the map was undated twenty-two years ago. As a biology professor cited in the piece is quoted as saying, "People who grow plants are well aware of the fact that temperatures have gotten more mild throughout the year, particularly in the winter time . . . There's a lot of things you can grow now that you couldn't grow before"

A case in point: here it is, the end of January, and I've been walking around outdoors in my shirtsleeves, often with the sleeves rolled up. This is the third day that temperatures have been around 70 degrees. Yesterday I saw a yellow butterfly go by, confirming that this wasn't a one-day fluke.

A butterfly. In January. Granted, winters are milder here in SW Arkansas than the Seattle area or (God knows) Milwaukee. But still, seventy degrees? It won't take a groundhog later this week to tell me winter's basically over, whatever cold snaps might intrude between now and true spring. The narcissus are already blooming, the pansies are thriving, and it won't be long till the daffodils join them.

Tomorrow I set out iris at Williamson St. We'll see how they do.

--John R.
current reading: THE WOBBIT, AFTER LOVECRAFT: THE COLD CASE OF ROBERT SUYDAM (sequel to THE HORROR AT RED HOOK), MURDER IN CANTON (the final story in the Judge Dee series).

No comments: