Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nature hits the pause button

For each 10 degrees (C) of temperature, the biological activity doubles, and the opposite is true too--when it's cold, nothing grows, despite longer days and plenty of sunshine.  It has been so cool (below freezing every night) that the day lilies, those hardy beasts, have barely poked their heads up, the new apple trees carefully wrapped up in the root cellar are starting to worry anxiously about getting their roots into the ground before they dry up, while the potted-up bulbs overwintered and set out on the stoop have simply stopped growing, although they were doing fine in the protected environment of the shed.

This being the upper tier of states in the midwest, with no moderating body of water nearby, the prevailing weather will veer around one of these days, and the wind will blow off the gulf of Mexico, rather than down off the Canadian shield as it is now doing.  Suddenly, the garden will explode--roses and late tulips blooming together, lilacs and strawberry blossoms compressed into a concentrated riot of spring, followed shortly by the first mosquitos.  For now, though, nature has hit the pause button--the days are getting longer and longer but nothing is growing.

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