Monday, January 14, 2013


freezing rain leftovers
    Now that it is all over, what can we say about 2012? For those dying to know, I can report that I finally harvested my parsley patch on December 19. That was the day before the first hard freeze that would have killed it or forced me to run out with tarps to cover it. I used up the last of it in a Chimichurri sauce for our Christmas day roast beef.

     Outside my own little patch of dirt we can report that 2012 was the warmest year in recorded history -- in Chicago, in the U.S., and in the world at large. This is more than a fluke. Last month also constituted the 334th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

     Chicago was spared much of the more freakish weather upheavals that took place elsewhere on the planet. Our main problem was drought. And despite the late 2012 rains that we received instead of snow, we ended up the year with a ten inch rain deficit. One or two decent rains this month have done little to reduce that deficit, and now we are heading into yet another 10 day period with no precipitation. Unless we see an awful lot of rain in February, I plan to bring out my hoses earlier than usual.

     The good thing about today's cold snap (otherwise known as normal winter weather) is that if it lasts long enough we might finally start killing off some of the insects, fungi, and other "critters" that have plagued us after the last two mild winters. I prefer my global warming in small doses.