Posted by: oceannah | April 19, 2013

small movements & large patterns

Spring has been a rather elusive character in this season’s opening salvo.  But there are a few small glimmers of hope hither and yon.  The garlic began to poke through ever so tentatively a few weeks ago only to stop cold, quite literally.  This morning some of the early greens that I seeded out are popping through.  Lettuces and such in short order if temperatures stabilize.

Everything else is doing a fair job of emerging but they are still hugging close to the ground for the added warmth.  I’m seeing this in the nettles, violets and dandelion that are everywhere on the homestead.  Even the ubiquitous mints that are can usually be found running rambunctiously over everything, are only tentative about making their debut, and only up close to the house on the south side.

Part of the seasonally ambiguity lies much further North.  The Arctic Oscillation (AO) which Joe Romm explains here is essentially the cause of the prolonged or stalled weather patterns we are seeing.  The warmer it gets in the Arctic the less ice, and the more moisture released into the atmosphere which affects those of us ‘downstream’.  Romm states, “Such a large area of open water is bound to cause significant impacts on weather patterns, due to the huge amount of heat and moisture that escapes from the exposed ocean into the atmosphere over a multi-month period following the summer melt.”  Please do visit his blog for a much more detailed explanation.  I won’t go into it much further than that as my main focus here is the real time effects of AO on my wee homestead.  But surely, things are changing, and I believe not for the better.

The other day on our daily walk my daughter slowed down to a near stop and lifted her nose in the air.  “Mama!” she squealed, “Smell that?  There are flowers on the air.”  And sure enough I could smell them when I took the time to slow down and sniff the air also.  The trees are beginning to flower here.  Spring will unfurl eventually, but I think we’ll wind up with the type of season that goes from cold-wet-grey to hot-dry-blue.  It makes for interesting conversations, but when growing food such extremes are less useful.

Wishing you all a good growing season no matter if you are growing tomatoes on your patio, herbs on your windowsill or acres of various food.  Anyone who takes the time to plant a seed in the ground is an optimist who is willing to take action…and the world needs as many of those as possible.






  1. Yay! Spring! I hope it will actually bloom soon and STAY spring where I’m from.

    • SO TRUE!
      Congrats on your most recent finish!

      It is beginning to be spring here.

      • Thanks, and same here. . . 86 in North Platte yesterday, apparently 84 here.

      • nice and warm for this early Sandra. We’ve leveled out a bit here with the rain.

      • Thanks, and YAY SPRING!

      • Yes indeed YAY!!

  2. I’m so looking forward to your stories of your garden this year xoxo

    • Off to a slow start Sandi. Hope all is going well w/ your son…sending continued prayers for full recovery. xo

  3. Still haven’t read that link yet, but I know I’ll be bookmarking it, anyway; )
    “Smell that? …flowers on the air.” Would that be The Smell after a lovely Spring shower (AKA Balsam Poplar or Cottonwood bud resin)? Did you know that’s what the bees use to make their propolis?: )
    P.S. It was snowing ever so lightly, off and on, all day Saturday – doesn’t bode well, does it?

  4. Hi Anna, A lovely intro to the new growing season. And “flowers on the air” is perfect. A garden is definitely a sign of optimism. We’re in Northern Cal and have completed our first planting. The strawberries are red and tiny tomatoes are already appearing. 🙂 Viv

    • Hi Viv! So nice to see you. Hope your heart has mended some from your loss. The promise of strawberries is a good salve.

  5. Hey Anna, did I post this, or no? (Been sick, so brain hasn’t been functioning): MUCH better after dosing myself with Goldenseal for a couple of days… Amazingly horrible tasting, but incredibly effective (that, and I can almost feel my liver squealing with joy: )
    Anyway, here’s the “lost” comment…
    “Smell that? …flowers on the air.” Would that be The Smell after a lovely Spring shower (AKA Balsam Poplar or Cottonwood bud resin)? Did you know that’s what the bees use to make their propolis?: )
    P.S. It was snowing ever so lightly, off and on, all day *Saturday – doesn’t bode well, does it?
    *That would’ve been LAST Saturday, the 21st. THIS Saturday was AWESOME here: ) Hope your weather’s finally turned “normal” too.

    • Yay Deb, I’m so glad that you had a good weather weekend!
      I did not know that about the propolis. I miss my bees. But I will not re-colonize this year as we already have more irons in the fire than we can juggle, and the ccd issue is still at large.

      • Did you catch the rumblings this morning? CBC Radio One reporting that several (sorry, missed which): Europe Union countries want a ban on three specific neonicotinoid pesticides. Haven’t read it yet, but found this…

      • I saw that Deb! Here in the us I don’t expect any movement. The whole of our country is gripped by the throat by the plutocrats and their cronies. The undoing of regulations that have been in place for 100 years is a daily grind in DC…enriching the already filthy rich, at the expense of not only ‘we’ the people, but the planet. In the end, the planet will recover, but I’m not so certain that we will be here to tell the tale! 400ppm CO2 is a science experiment I’d rather not be part of 😉

  6. So, can you say “DUHHH”?
    Hugs, D.

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