Fall is a full month—perhaps five or six weeks, actually, depending on the species—behind what we natives have learned to expect. In fact, the normal course of events is that weather drives most of the deciduous species to deciduate in unison—Whomp! The ground is covered in leaves. But the lack of cold weather has left every species to define its own schedule this year. My lawn would typically be inches deep in copper beech leaves from my neighbor’s tree by now, the magnolia leaves would have been raked into the compost pile weeks ago, and I’d be expecting to do my last lawn cleanup just before the first real snowfall. This year, I expect to be raking the lawn in January, if not February.
We’ve had only one sharp freeze sufficient to wilt tomatoes, a week or so ago. Having paid attention to the weather forecast the previous morning, I went out and picked the last of the mature green tomatoes, and we’ll be enjoying our own garden tomatoes at Thanksgiving dinner. A couple might even make it to Christmas. If you live in a warmer part of the world, that might not sound impressive, but it isn’t something I’ve experienced before.
I won’t try to connect this with the large issue of climate change, because this is liable to be a freak occurrence (time will tell). I’m just looking forward to using less fossil fuel for heating this winter. I’ll probably spend as much or more, given the rapid rise in energy prices, but consuming less is good, anyway.
What does this have to do with the subject of this blog? Not a damn thing.