|One of my North Carolina friends can't resist sending me|
cheery maps like this one from last week.
We are still a month away from the winter solstice and I am already overflowing with discontent. The Midwest seldom gets a long and luxurious spring, but it usually enjoys a leisurely autumn. Chicago stays pleasant until our first light frost about Halloween.
Then we usually have a few weeks to get ready for winter. Our roses still look good and we can still harvest broccoli and parsley, but it is time to begin cleaning up our perennials as well as our tree leaves and putting our stuff way. In a good year our trees will lose leaves at a steady pace that allows us to keep up.
|And now this one from the weekend.|
This year, though, we are once more being hit early and hard by record-breaking low temperatures, and, even worse, a record number of days during which the highs never break the freezing mark.
I, for one, was caught completely unprepared. My trees simply dumped their leaves, which, despite several mulchings, are still heaped up; my hostas are not cut down; I still have three potted shrubs that have not been planted and my rain barrels are frozen up, as well as my composter and my hoses.
I will have to do something about all this while the temperatures are in the 20's because next weekend it will finally get warm enough to allow a nice mix of rain and snow to make a big mess of everything.