We know that there’s lots of discuss about the garden (our seed orders arrived — yay!), but we can’t let go of just how strange the winter “weather” has been this year. So we’re going to stave off the seed talk for another week. It’s okay; with an extra weekend here in February, thanks to the Leap Year, we’re going to be starting seeds a little later than we usually might. Plus, with the way things have been lately, it’s hard to tell just what’s going to happen outdoors from day to day.
So here’s the thing. We were in the deep chill this past weekend. For three days, our phones blared with winter weather alerts about extreme wind chills (extreme for our area, anyway), icy conditions, and possible snow. On Saturday, it was freezing. We barely got out of the teens, and there were minor flurries. On Sunday, the thermometer read a whopping 9 degrees on the morning, with a wind chill in the negatives. And there were more flurries. But yesterday was the topper, and not because it was as cold as the previous days. But because we ended up with a smorgasbord of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and “non-freezing rain” (i.e. rain) as the weather alert helpfully said. The day started out cold and snowy and ended up warm and rainy. And today…well, today is the kicker — it got up to almost 60 degrees, and the whole region has been drenched in what can only be described as a “heavy spring rain.”
And Spring is still a month off.
Folks, has this winter been as strange in your neck of the woods? Because this is certainly the weirdest one we’ve experienced here in NJ. Since the end of December, our yard as either been tundra or swamp. This has wrecked havoc with the backyard, which now has a few choice bald spots. No thanks in part to the squirrels. The regular warm spells that we’ve been experiencing brought them out early over the past few weeks, and they’ve been digging away in the yard, locating hidden treasures. A number of rabbits, too, seem to have come out of hibernation a little early, and they’ve been grazing like a herd of goats.
Ah, well. Maybe all this wetness will lead to decent soil quality in the beds. Since we composted most of the dying plants in place late last fall, all the material has been breaking down nicely. In fact, though we’ve yet to do the first proper yard survey of the year, we wouldn’t surprised if we found some early lettuces popping up just because they can. A decent patch of kale has survived this whole time as well. It’s not very tasty, but it lends a nice bit imagination of what’s to come.
So while we’re ready for Spring, we actually wouldn’t mind if it just plain, ol’ Winter at some point too. At least it would make things outside seem a little more normal.