And that attention is not always the positive kind. Sometimes complacency turns Mother Nature into the Wicked Witch of the West and things happen while we sleep, as in what happened Thursday night while we slept:
Yep. Even though we’d had a couple of very gray very chilly days, I was quite comfortable that spring was here, the peonies and lilacs budding and preparing for bloom very soon, the grasses growing and crapapple trees blooming. Complacent, you might say. Silly me!
Apparently I was in need of a lesson in humility. Apparently I needed to be reminded to fully appreciate the warm sunny days, to appreciate that the lawn is becoming quite jungle-like and to just get out there with the mower and tame it instead of grumping to myself about it.
In our neck of the woods, here in the Klamath Basin of Oregon on the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountains, it is not unusual to have that display of anger from Mother Nature near the end of May. We have been known to have snowflakes on July 4, and one of the thirteen years we have been here we had a frost every single month of that year. Let us just say that if you wish to grow vegetables here, a greenhouse is a very good idea. Or a lot of conscientious weather-watching and being prepared to cover plants overnight. Although the charts say we are in zone 6 for gardening, don’t let them fool you. Plan to plant as if you are in zone 4, and if you wish to live dangerously or can find a warm micro-climate in your yard you can dare to plant for zone 5.
Our weather is actually rather temperate – our winters are rarely terribly cold, not North Dakota cold, and our summers are quite mild with only two or three weeks of temperatures in the mid-80s to mid-90s, if that many days. It is those surprise frosts and snows that irritate, that make plants a bit resistant to bringing out their showiest finery. It is those surprises that make me grumpy and make me call our weather “fickle” and refer to Mother Nature as that wicked witch of the west. Husband says it’s personal, that she just flat doesn’t like me. If that is the case, I apologize all my friends and neighbors – although honestly, I don’t think I’m a big enough fish in the pond to have that much effect on old MN.
Today, the sun shines and the weather threatens thundershowers. Tomorrow we are to return to temperatures in the 60s and I shall hop on the lawn tractor and mow the grass. I shall revel in the smell of that new-mown grass and enjoy the sunshine and warmth.
And I shall remember to thank MN for a lovely day!