It’s Been a Rough Summer

So far I’ve lost some veggie plants, a few small shrubs, and a few pounds from the heat this Summer. I would like to see some relief, but don’t think it’s coming. We’ve done OK as far as bagging and freezing some veggies, but not enough. Started a second round of Squash, Beans, Cantelopes. Peppers? They love this weather. We have Trinidad Scorpions and Ghost Peppers this year. They are doing great along with the rest. Fall is coming…

So with August here next week we have a few chores to do before Fall actually gets here. First, I need to finish pruning and picking up after all the storms that lit out through here. Then I can think about what to kill off weed’wise in the beds and the lawn. Lawns took a beating this year. Next month I will post a proper Richmond, Va. lawn schedule for you all. Easy and simple, it will be here and on www.Kevinsgarden.com, check it out if you haven’t been there yet.

We will have our Cold Crops ready to go as well.

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Ma Nature’s Mayhem

OK, let’s see what we’re facing here for just a bit. Everyone is checking my “Winter Weather” post, thinking I am going to update it. Nope. I think I’ll let it fly like it is. Here’s why:

Since I have been playing around with data, trends, and phenology, I have found similarities of events due to the Southern Oscillation changes, especially in the last decade. But there is something that bothers me about weather guessers on the tube. The phrase, “warmer than normal” is a hoax. Average, maybe, normal, I don’t buy into that. My recollections about Summer/Winter weather events over my 52 years is about as accurate as can be. But there is one simple thing that people are not taking into account on the “Mayhem” we are being subject to. Here it is:

Krakatoa, the Earth shifted 3 degrees off its axis. Weather didn’t catch up with the rotation for about 25 years. Look it up, I did just because the notion hit me to do so. Then, the December earthquake in Indonesia a few years ago, same thing, 3 more degrees. Now here in Va., we are being annoyed by the quaking here in Louisa since, I think, June. Big 5.3 or so, followed by about 60, averaging in the 2.4 range. Arkansas, has had 9 in the last 2 days, averaging in the 2.5 range. South Carolina, yesterday alone had 2 at 2.6 within minutes of each other. Ohio and Pa. are on the “constant tremor” list as well. Here is MY theory. Simply put, the Earth is shifting its innards to catch up with its new rotation, kinda like the washing machine when all the jeans get to one side on the spin cycle. See? Simple wasn’t it? If you GPS the North Pole, you could get there easily and accurately. Use a compass? Not so easy, see, Magnetic North isn’t there anymore. Columbus would never find his way back here. The Earths Iron Core is also on the move. Look it up, I did. Don’t know why, I just did.

So. Now for the reason of this post. Ma Nature is desperately trying to compensate for the shift, putting weather/seasons back where they belong. Kinda like tossing a tennis ball up in the air in a moving vehicle. All’s well until it turns. Come on, you all remember HS Physics class right? The cold domes last year were coming out of Western Canada, pushing across all the way to the Carolinas. Same the year before. This year, coming down from Montana/North Dakota areas. Texas already has had a blizzard this year. Won’t be long until the daylight hours start getting longer in January, and we get that cccccold miserable time of year. But my feeling is it will last thru March. The Tropics are still pushing off of Cape Verde Islands, bringing constant 7 day moisture to us up from the Gulf, only a matter of time until they weaken, and meet here in Va…. and we all know what late Winter storms coming from the South means for us, yep, ICE! As of this post, we are at 56 degrees and it will get to 67 today. First day of winter, and yet its still Fall. Winter is coming when it’s supposed to. And it will be a long one. See? Average for the last 30 year cyclic weather trends… Average. The use of the term “normal” puts a scare in folks and they run around crying “global warming” over and over again, while professing to be “eco-friendly”, but yet still over fertilizing at the wrong time because they don’t watch the weather, they just read the chart on the bag or listen to the commercial. So I think I will inject a new phrase to the “Normal” watchers, and that is “Global Mayhem”… It’s easy to account for your actions from now on, right? Watch the weather, not the calender.

Richmond, Va. White Christmas?

Ok, here we go. Defining a “White Christmas”. If you search for info on White Christmas anywhere, you will see a reduction in instances and your memory (and old Christmas pics). A white Christmas only counts if it actually snows on Christmas day. Snow on the ground on the 23rd say, extending thru Christmas, does not count as a White Christmas in the record books….. Last year, 2009, we had snow on the ground, but is not actually acclaimed as a White Christmas. This year….. Hate to say it, but I think we will have one. The low teens to mid 30’s weekly, and the weekly precip, will catch up with each other next weekend (12/18-19) like the dusting last weekend (which I also called on the 4th) and then for the next 3 weekends… I DID NOT want to say that… But it’s what I see, what my numbers say.. I also think it will warm up earlier this late winter/early spring… We’ll see. We can only hope.

Remember last year? Every week, we got it on the same days just about for like 5 weeks, then it started spreading out. The FA is saying milder this year, I say they got their pig spleens mixed up. I think they got Hawaii’s and Va.’s pigs confused.. La Nina has been getting bigger in the South Pacific all Summer, pushing that great heat we had around to us.. Now as the days get shorter, and the angle of the Sun gets less, that heat turns cold, the weekly Jet Stream stays constant, but dipping further south, the Arctic Dome has no confrontation, and it bursts like a balloon, dumping those nice teens into the lower South. As the Tropical Waves are still pushing off Africa, the precipitation coming out of the Western Gulf, traveling up through the Tennessee Valley, all it takes is for the Jet Stream to push down 400 miles more, and the storms are to the East of the Appalachians, and that, my friends, spells I.C.E for us………

Get to the grocery store NOW, get that snow shovel and ice melt NOW, get those limbs pruned away from the power lines NOW… 

I’m sorry, but I do love the heat. I was lovin’ the 90’s and 104 deg days last summer…. I can always get cooled off, but cold? You can have it. We need this frigid cold here. Some things that were bothersome in our gardens, won’t be back anymore. Some bugs, weeds that came here as “volunteers” from southern nurseries, won’t be back, lessening our usage in chemicals. Next week is the shortest daylight hrs.. We start gaining again around the 24th like a minute a day. Starts taking off to 2 min’s around Jan 8th, I think…. I can’t wait!!! Seed starting time is right around the corner!!

Ma Nature’s Watch Broken?

So here it is, middle of May, and we are repeating last Spring.. Only in a more dramatic fashion. In my gardens, I have Tomatoes blooming, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries on the bush. Cherries are reddening, and Peaches are about 1/3 the way to done…. And everything is in great abundance, better than before. I am a little worried, again. You see, I also have Mums budding and blooming, and my Lenten Rose won’t go down for the count. Our weather pattern is getting a little daunting. Typically, in the last 4 to 5 years, (except for last year), it was already hot. I saw pools open up early, before Memorial Day, and I was already tan. Last year was way cooler than those previous years, I don’t care what the oomphs say, we only had 2 or 3 different weeks that it got to the 90’s, not in a row, just random times. I’m worried about those Mums and what are they telling me….

I shoveled way too much snow this year. I ended up making a pusher blade for my JD tractor.. Genius it was. El Nino and La Nina switched last year. I think it will be worse this Winter. Who just got snow the other day out in the Mid-West and in the Great Lakes? Snow, then Tornadoes. Ouch… My back can’t take another Winter like this year. Statistically, every 30 years or so, we get this weather, but there have also been at least a 25″ single snow dumping here in Richmond during those times… Something to think about. And here’s the kicker, most folks here ain’t from here. Some came from the lower South and think we are protected from harm. If I heard once, “It doesn’t snow in Richmond”, I heard it a thousand times. Well, yes it does. Yeah, my Mums are scaring me a little. Two years ago we had the 15 year early bloom, then we had a 10″ dumping of snow in March last year. The Tropics were kinda quiet on the East Coast, now the next season is worrying me some. Will the Atlantic heat up enough to support a cyclone? Or does it just need the difference in air to sea temps with the Tropical pushes off the African Coast? I need to check the Coral Bleaching sites so I can plan my Summer. Last night we had our first really big blow. When the National Weather Service interrupts the TV, everything here stops, and my 9-year-old son and I head for the porch and watch the whole show, start to finish, it’s just a thing we do.

So far this Spring, I think we have had almost as many 90 degree days as last July, but then it goes to the upper 30’s, and does not get out of the 60’s. Like yesterday, upper 80’s, now, today, mid to upper 60’s. Tomorrow. 90’s. We had frost the other day just West of here and hard freeze up into the Great Lakes. No wonder my Mums don’t know what time it is, they actually think it’s late October except for the amount of actual daylight. Spurge, Henbit, and Chickweed won’t stop, and Dandelions are afraid.. For the first time in 6 years, I had to cover my vegetable garden, twice, due to late April and early May frost warnings… But I gladly did it, because I will be the first to eat from my garden. In my satellite compost place, my old Collards and Broccoli are re-growing in abundance. Best of both worlds.

Something else, all my Spring blooming trees and shrubs bloomed on time, but went out very quick, hardly any time to enjoy. Yep, I will re-equip my JD again in the Winter. How long will the effect of the Volcano eruptions of late make us crave Global Warming? I hate the cold, would much rather sweat, but I do enjoy the seasonal changes here in Richmond. Not too long ago, lakes and reservoirs were drying up, people were watering their lawns in the wee hours so as not to get caught during water restrictions, and now, we are back in the Nuclear Winter of the Reagan era. I like how the weather people like to say things like the temps and snowfalls are the largest and coldest since about 30 years ago. Ya gotta love the cycles, because if you do some checking, about 60 years ago, it was the same. It’s not just us doing us in, Ma Nature likes to do us too, we just need to learn to compensate for the time frames, and either save our watering for a long hot, dry Summer, or start spraying a lot of aerosol into the atmosphere and slow the long Winters. Or, just deal with it.

Spring Mums