Friday, May 7, 2010

a brisk spring day in Duluth

The last official snowfall in Duluth this year was on February 25, which meant that we were well on our way to having the first snow-less spring in recorded history. And then today happened.

As of this writing, there's about an inch of wet, heavy snow on the ground, and it's continuing to fall, although it is starting to taper off now. The temperature's been hovering right around freezing, and the wind has been wicked all day (and lucky me, I got to walk to the co-op and then back with 40 pounds of groceries on my shoulders).

When I checked this morning, my peas and spinach (which were planted on April 18 and were all sprouting nicely) looked a little shocked, and my poor peonies (which were putting out flower buds already) looked rather peaked. I covered them all up with tarps, plastic bags or old sheets, and it's supposed to warm up a little bit tomorrow, so we'll see what pulls through. The dandelions are all closed up, and even the creeping charlie looks a little withered. I have some volunteer tulips coming up in my yard, but they're still in bud, so they might be okay. A neighbor's tulips that were already blooming don't really look so hot any more.

The lilacs (also putting out flower buds) were looking a little droopy, but I think they'll pull through. Most fruit trees haven't flowered yet--both wild and domestic apples and cherries are still in bud--so they should all be fine. My neighbor's plum tree, however, was in full, perfect, spectacular bloom; it's positioned so that it's protected from the wind, at least, so I'm crossing my fingers for it on my neighbor's behalf.

The serviceberries just started blooming this past week, and since this is my first spring in the Central Hillside, I'm only noticing now how many of them there are in my neighborhood. Of all the flowering plants currently in bloom, the serviceberries seem to be the only ones taking the snowfall in stride.

It would be interesting to go kicking around the woods this weekend to see how the other native plants are doing. They are, I imagine, by and large well-adapted to a late spring snowfall, but it still worries me, and I'm worried about all the warblers and butterflies that are already out, and all the birds on the nest, and everything else. I can replant my peas and spinach if I need to, and anyway I'm not depending on them for my survival. Hopefully the birds and bugs and flowers are all as tough as serviceberries.

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