Dear Mother Nature …

Boxwood in snow 12-09 Where’s my snow cover?  Your pal, Old Man Winter brought my gardens the perfect blanket of snow earlier in December.  Then the two of you collaborated to drop the temperatures to below freezing at night and the 30’s during the day – just right for keeping the gardens covered in a comforter of snow.  I breathed a sigh of relief … this was good … less concern over heaving.

Did you and the old man have a spat?  Is that why our outdoor temperatures rose to the 50’s … melted our snow?  Now the gardens are exposed and temperatures have tanked back to below freezing levels … with no snow blanket.  I know, I know … every time it snows people complain about slippery roads and sidewalks.  But this is New England – even here in the most southern reaches we still think of ours as the land of winter white, heavy snow, not seeing the ground from December (and sometimes November) through March or April.  Our flora expect their roots to be covered with thick white blanket. Maybe it’s my imagination, but my shrubs seem to shiver when you yank back their comforter cover with too warm temps.

You managed to deliver snow to much of the rest of the country … even as far south as Texas, and trust me, people down there are not as enamored of your white magic as we are up north.  Some southerners get downright indignant when you spread your winter-white gift their way.

So how about re-gifting some of your white stuff up here?  Are you punishing us for spewing too much carbon dioxide into your air?  Is this your way of sending humans to time-out?

You down south – don’t get too cozy growing all those tropical, warm weather plants!  And, you northerners – don’t take my winter generosity for granted; sometimes I feel like giving the west some snow and other times I prefer scooting more eastward!  But I’ll keep all of you off track, and maybe only give the far northeasterners snow and leave southern New England wanting.  Oh yeah, and don’t get too cozy in the mid-Atlantic states – surprise – I’m giving southern New England’s snow to you!

Perhaps you, Mother Dear, are simply trying to drive home the adage if you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a minute.  If so, you’ve made your point.  On December 15, we had highs in the 40’s but temperatures quickly dropped to the 20’s in just a few short hours.   Already in December we’ve had days worth of bitter cold (expected) followed by days of spring-like warmth (not expected), soon followed by more days of bitter cold.  Can you just make up your mind which season we’re in?  You brought us too much rain in the spring and early summer, and kept us cold well into June.  July was good – I’ll give you that – and August was not too bad.  But you brought cold nights early in September, which made us all think our fall would be chilly.  You even delivered our first snow on October 15.  But then, just to keep us off guard, you held our first hard frost until the beginning of December.

Iris in October 2009 One of my non-reblooming iris responded to your fickle nature by blooming in our warm October air!

My hubby reminded me that we need deeply frozen ground to cut back on our underground root-eating creature population, so I guess your current weather mood is not all bad.  This week’s worth of below freezing temperatures – without snow cover – will certainly freeze the ground deeply, so thanks for this.  But after few days of this cold, wouldn’t it be a nice addition to cover our frozen ground with a fresh blanket of snow?

You are once again teasing us with a southern moisture front that all your earth-born predictors think will skirt up the east coast.  But will it stay close to land or swoosh out over the Atlantic?  You, Mommy Dearest, are the only one who knows.  So I urge you; look at the calendar …. it’s December … the I’m-dreaming-of-a-white season.  Don’t pay attention to all the complainers out there … this is New England, and it’s time for snow.

14 comments for “Dear Mother Nature …

  1. December 18, 2009 at 1:13 am

    I enjoyed your post. It sounds like you are living down here where I am. We never know what the weather will do in an Alabama winter. It might be 70 one day and 20 degrees two days later, then back up again the day after that. No such thing as a snow blanket here, but then we don’t need it, because the ground never truly freezes, at least not hard enough to cause heaving. The biggest problem is deciding if one should wear short sleeves or a heavy coat.

  2. joenesgarden
    December 18, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Thanks, Deborah. You’re lucky not to have the risk of losing perennials that have heaved out of the ground during frost/thaw periods, and up here there is no question that we will be wearing long sleeves. It’s 8 degrees this morning. Maybe Mother Nature is listening, though. We might get a good storm on Saturday night.

  3. December 18, 2009 at 7:30 am

    If Old Man Winter and Mother Nature had a child, what do you think it would be?

  4. joenesgarden
    December 18, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Interesting question, Deborah. Perhaps they have 4 children, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter … all with thier own peculiarities.

  5. December 19, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Oh, man, I’m with you! I’m in Seattle and we had a wonderful snowy winter last year. This year, it’s 50 and rainy. But, I guess I can always hope for a white New Year’s Eve… or Valentine’s Day!

  6. joenesgarden
    December 19, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Jen … I won’t have to wish for a white Christmas, it’s coming today with the large snowstorm marching up the East coast.

  7. December 19, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Fun post! I have been feeling the same way all week, observing my poor barren perennials out the window, but now snow is on the way. I hate seeing all the droopy leaves on the rhodies when they get deep frozen. I’ve heard these bushes are originally from further south, but they do thrive here in New England.

  8. joenesgarden
    December 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Alexandra,
    It looks like you may get hit harder from this storm than us. Don’t worry about your rhodies though, they curl their leaves in cold temps to prevent moisture loss … isn’t nature grand!

  9. December 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I’m in New England also, expecting a moderate snowfall (I’m not on the coast, so I think western MA will be spared the brunt, but I don’t want to speak too soon!)

    Will snow cover benefit my newly planted grass, I wonder?

  10. December 19, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I think Mother Nature must have heard you because she’s sending you a nice, thick blanket of snow that will probably stay around until the spring!

  11. December 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    an iris in October ??? interesting!
    It’s snowing buckets here right now …. I”m in PA — we’ve got over a foot and more is falling… I’d send you some if I could!
    Enjoy the weather you’ve got : )

  12. joenesgarden
    December 19, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Joanne … snow cover will hold the ground at a steady temperature, so it will actually benefit your grass.

  13. joenesgarden
    December 19, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Debbie … I’m glad she is listening.

  14. joenesgarden
    December 19, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Judy, it’s just beginning to snow here. It will be absolutely breathtaking to wake up to a blanket of deep fresh snow.

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