The weather is starting to scare me.
It is currently 77 degrees in North Carolina. On December 22. We had to turn the air conditioning on.
The local record, in Raleigh, was set in 1923. It was broken by two degrees today.
Tomorrow it will plunge downward, crashing to 37 degrees, and then down below freezing by the next night.
This is the second time this has happened in the last month. Unseasonably hot, record hot, sudden freezing crash, rinse, repeat.
I have absolutely no context to place this in. This is weird. This whole last year was weird. The farmers at the farmer’s market, many of whom are friends, had wretched vegetable crops. Everything burned out early, drowned, fried, something. We came out of the ten year drought, (which is good!) but we did it with weeks of unending rain. Plants rotted in the ground. We were lucky that we didn’t get a hurricane–even a relatively minor one would have yanked trees right out of the waterlogged soil. Then we had a heat wave and started breaking records again.
I saw what looked a heckuva lot like a Least Tern over a local lake yesterday. They’re rare inland and they are gone by October. There are moths around my porch light. The bluebirds were house hunting a week ago.
Not completely impossible, any of them. All just at the edge of what you’d expect. All these little improbabilities adding up, over and over, all the things that are just a little later, just a little too early.
I won’t lie, guys, it’s starting to scare the crap out of me.
I sometimes feel–probably most of us do, now and again–that our gardens are these little islands in a vast sea of scary things. Asphalt. Pesticides. Obnoxious politicians. Invasive species. We come to sites like this to read about other people’s islands, to find out how to make our own little islands better. Probably a lot of us come just to know that we’re not the only island. Sometimes when you look out and all you see is concrete and HOA’s, it gets discouraging. Sometimes it feels like you’re bailing the tide.
Well. I am not trying to be a downer here. Despair is a worse enemy than Chinese wisteria and Japanese stiltgrass. My island is fine at the moment. The frogs and the bees, my beloved indicators, are all asleep under the leaves. I have no reason to believe they won’t emerge in spring. As the garden grows and the plants settle in, my island is arguably getting better—an older garden holds more species than a young one, if the ecologists are to be believed.
Still, to extend the metaphor, I stand in my little island and look out and the sea is awfully choppy out there. And I have absolutely no idea what it’s going to do next.
As I am writing, I hear thunder. That’s not artistic license—I’m not trying to make a metaphorical point about approaching hoofbeats, although it’d be a really good one and I kinda wish I was—we’re actually about to get a thunderstorm. My husband tells me that there’s some kind of local saying about snow after thunder, but he can’t remember it. He’s lived here all his life and doesn’t remember weather like this.
The elderly border collie, who hates thunder, is hiding under the bed.
I’m kinda wondering if I should join him.
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