Phenology Update


noun /fiˈnäləjē/

1.The study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, esp. in relation to climate and plant and animal life

Winter doesn’t last forever.  But when is it gone?  I ignore the Global Warming Koolaide drinkers and take my cues from locally observable phenomena.

Indications of spring:

  • There were birds chirping outside my window this morning.  (Is there any sound sweeter?)
  • Everyone south of us is talking about their flowers and gardens.  (Lucky bastards.)
  • I’m starting to think a Bass Boat would be a really cool thing to own.  I now think my monster snowblower is an excessive expense I really didn’t need.  (Both are untrue but the mind wanders in spring.)
  • I’ve seen a few hearty souls out on motorcycles.
  • I’m almost out of firewood.
  • I don’t care that I’m almost out of firewood.
  • I let the fire go out a couple weeks ago.  The pipes have not frozen.
  • The maple syrup flow is going strong.  (I don’t have any sugar maple.  Damn!)

Indications the fat lady hasn’t yet sang:

  • There were only a few birds singing this morning.  (No robins yet!)  In a few weeks it’ll sound like an avian keg party.  (I really love hearing songbirds!)
  • No trucks have sunk.  This is worrisome.  The ice looks so thin that I can’t imagine anyone stupid enough to drive anything of value upon it.  Yet if no redneck goes out and sinks his truck…summer may never come!
  • In the Midwest, newspapers have not published one of their two annual farm articles.  The main one explains that it is too wet so farmers can’t get out and plow the fields.  Thus they need “emergency” assistance.  The alternative article is that it’s too dry so farmer’s crops won’t have enough moisture to grow well.  Thus they need “emergency” assistance.  One of those two articles must be published before it’s summer.
  • In the Southwest, newspapers have not published one of their two annual fire articles.  The main one explains that the snowpack is too small, which will lead to a an “unusually severe” wildfire season.   The alternative article explains that there’s a deep snowpack which will encourage tremendous vegetative growth which will build up and lead to an “unusually severe” wildfire season.  Either article concludes with the need for “emergency” funding to prepare for the newfound discovery that trees and brush, when dry, are flammable.
  • I haven’t fired up my motorcycle yet.
  • The chickens are scratching at frozen soil and look mighty pissed off that no worms are coming up.
  • The dandelions and tulips aren’t back.

There you have it.  I’m as accurate as the Farmers Almanac and probably as archaic.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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3 Responses to Phenology Update

  1. bluesun says:

    I don’t know if I count as the Southwest, being in Western Colorado, but since they use all of our water, I’ll let you know that the average CO snowpack is running at 117% or so, with only two basins (the Rio Grande and the San Miguel/Dolores) being under. What hasn’t happened yet is the rapid runoff where the newspapers start panicking about the supposed end of the world, so right now we’re still in the grey area, I guess.

  2. Pingback: Phenology Update II: Climate Modeling Is Difficult | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

  3. Pingback: Phenology Update: Spring 2012 | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

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