Apr 30 2010

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Mixed Messages

Posted at 10:38 am under Blog Post

I mowed my lawn last week, right before going back to Ohio to see my folks.  First time I’ve ever cut my grass in April, but it needed it.  The grass was already thick and high.  Spring has come early this year, or so it seemed until yesterday.

Back in Ohio, the spring season is in full swing.  The trees have leafed out, everything is green, and flowers are blooming everywhere.  I saw honeysuckle on the verge of opening – something that doesn’t happen in here in northern Vermont until late May.  It was like jumping ahead two or three weeks, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Three days ago, when I was still at my folks place, my wife called to tell me that a winter storm was raging in Vermont.  Judy said a foot of snow had accumulated.  I found that hard to believe.  But there was no denying the snow I saw on the summits of the Green Mountains as I drove back into the state.  By the time I reached home, there were several inches of it on the ground around me.  Melting fast, though.  After all, the air temperature was pushing 60 degrees.

This morning early, I went out to inspect the broken branch of our lilac bush and putter about the backyard looking for other storm damage.  I noticed red fragments of catkins – the flowers of our big, old maple tree – scattered across the remnant patches of snow.  Deep green grass framed the patches, sending mixed messages to my brain.  Happy grass, slowly filling in the barren spots.  How odd.

The other day I was reading a book about prehistoric man and how the climate stabilized about twelve thousand years ago, making it easy for our kind to resort to agriculture.  Before that, the climate changed radically from century to century, from year to year.  That made me wonder what kind of impact the weather would have on modern civilization if the climate suddenly destabilized. What would be able to grow?  All this is very hypothetical, of course.  The climate could never destabilize like that again, right?

Well, enough speculation already.  I have to go hang my laundry outside to dry.  After all, it’s a nice, warm day.  I think it’s warm enough to melt the brand new snow piles in my yard.  That would be good.  I need to cut my grass again.

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