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Spring is on the tree tips

March 1st, 2008 · 2 Comments · General, local food

On my walk yesterday afternoon I spotted a couple of signs that food may again grow in these climes.

Quince coming to life

Small leaves and buds on a quince bush.

Bud forming on cherry tree

Buds begin to emerge (above) on cherry tree branch (below).

Cherry tree branch

It’s not much, but it’s a start. Those signs, plus today’s amazing warmth give me hope that this miserable winter will eventually end, as I suppose we all knew it would.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to say that I’m sitting outside as I write this entry. The temperature is 68 degrees as I type. Yes, it might be more pleasant if the winds weren’t gusting to 26 mph, and, yes, there are still patches of snow on the ground. But I’m not complaining, believe me.

I can hear sparrows quarreling, mourning doves, the Campanile (a sure sign of south wind), my neighbor’s clanging wind “chime.” Yes, I can also hear the occasional roar of somebody’s inadequately muffled motorcycle, the hammering of roofers on my neighbor’s house down the street (I’d worry up there about the wind), and my tween neighbor’s music. But it’s all ever so much better than listening to the furnace blow.

Poking around in my yard I even found a bit of mint that has stayed green through subzero temps, probably thanks to all that snow.

Mint remnant

Yes, the forecast calls for cooler temps tomorrow, rain and (sigh) snow. But today, it’s spring, and I’m reveling in it.


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Katie


    Just 2 states south?

    Geez Louise, it never ceases to amaze me how different my home 4-season state is from my new 2-seasons-and-a-few-in-between-weeks state are.

    Last year I wrote down seeing those things in April, but last year was the first year I’d seen a spring in this state. I don’t think it’s fair to count last year’s plant development as normal. I mean, the temperatures went above freezing the last 3 days of March and simply didn’t drop below again or cause snow again.

    UNHEARD OF as far as I could tell.

    The weather here is supposed to give us a week above freezing, a week in the teens, 4 days of 40’s & 50’s, a week in the 20’s, a week where half the week is in the 30’s, half is in the 60’s, and then the next week is in the 30’s, 20’s and teens, and then FINALLY, at the very end of April, a climb into the 30’s that results not in another drop, but in an upwards zig-zag of temperatures to summer that doesn’t drop below 30 again.

    (Whereas in Kansas, other than “late cold snap” years, for the most part, there seems to be a certain point at which the temperature climbs above freezing for a week and then truly doesn’t drop again. Do you guys think you’ll have another “steady upward zigzag” as is usual, or something more like last year, which as far as I can tell, was a Minnesota spring, only occuring earlier in the year than it does in Minnesota?)

  • Janet Majure

    Well, Katie, if the weather in Minnesota is a volatile as it is here, I wouldn’t put too much stock in forecasts beyond a few days out—tops. Unfortunately, slow and steady upward ratcheting temps just isn’t in the cards around here. In the last month or so we’ve had highs both in the 70s and in the teens. And, actually, last year’s freeze wasn’t particularly late, it was just particularly brutal because it came after a couple of weeks of unusually warm temperatures. I believe the record last frost date is in May, if that gives you any indication. And my CSA’s regular deliveries won’t start until the first week of May. Those little buds in the pictures, in other words, won’t go much beyond what you see there unless we get a few warm days in a row. Meanwhile, snow is falling, but it isn’t supposed to accumulate. Hope not!