Weather or Not

I love rain. I have written songs about it, since growing up in dry country made me appreciate its song early. But, really? Enough.

Here in Upper Michigan we have had rain on a nearly daily basis this growing season (see inset below). It is a mixed bag for the garden, with the heat-lovers sulking and the cool-weather fans cheering. Hard on gardeners because you can’t really work wet soil, but the sandy world around me rejoices in the green of the meadow grass, trees, and shrubs.

May Precip Stats: Actual Month Total: 3.89 in | Average Month Total: 2.83 in

June Precip Stats: Actual Month to Date: 7.02 in | Average Month to Date: 2.85 in | Average Month Total: 3.05 in
Weather Underground statistics for Rapid River, Michigan

I don’t remember a year like this since we’ve been here. Maybe we are affecting the climate. Maybe it’s cyclical. My brother suggests that if it is cyclical, and if we notice that our own activities are pushing the river, perhaps we’d like to stop. Seems reasonable to me.

On one hand, what does it matter? My corner of the world will do what it does, no matter what. I see my garden dealing with overwhelming rain and lack of sun. I try to mitigate that influence as I can, using ditches and directive devices to move the water to places where it is more welcome. Enclosing the tomatoes in plastic for added warmth is another attempt to influence the climate here, in my own world.GetWhatYouGetThimbleberries

Gardening for food means that I am also now experimenting (not very well yet) with permaculture crops and things that normally flourish outside our zone, as well as trying to extend the growing season for things I can already grow with some success. Saving seed that likes it here now and learning to store things for winter in a climate that believes in winter are other challenging skills.

I do these things, or am learning to do these things, because I want my garden to be happy whether the temperature stays as it has been or rises or falls. I want it to thrive even if the weather fluctuates wildly, so we can thrive with it. This far does Climate Change drive my decision making.

A lot of smart people, scientists and not, believe in and have documented Climate Change (or CC as I’ll call it) and that our actions contribute to it. CC is real enough that my garden has moved 1/2 zone south in the 40 years I’ve lived here. CC is real enough that ice caps are melting. It is not a myth. Why are we arguing about whether our part in it is the causative factor?

8-2-15Cloud2ndCRYes, I do take what small steps I see in front of me to abate the change. And no, I’m not sure, either. I know that people tell lies with facts and prove myths with data. It merely seems prudent to embrace reality and deal with life from there. My garden thanks me.






1 Comment

Filed under Gardens, Michigan, Nature, Philosophy, Politics, Weather, climate

One response to “Weather or Not

  1. Janine Adams

    Good point! Why are we arguing about whether humans play a part in Climate Change? (We should obviously focus energy elsewhere.) I was stunned (then not) to read that in the years that you’ve lived in the U.P. your growing zone has shifted a half south. That’s incredible! Enjoyed this article. Despite the doom of the planet, your writing lifted my spirits during a gray, wet day. Thank you, Kathryn!


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