Seasonal Changes

Living in Missouri, I have learned to accept that we don’t experience the standard four seasons every year.  This year has been amazingly weird.

It snowed in the middle of April, which is rare for us.  Usually we are completely done with snow within the first week or two of March.  However, April snows do happen every 5 to 6 years.  The April snow (and it accumulated) was immediately followed by summer.

On Mother’s Day, my husband and I bought and planted 2 hibiscuses and 6 roses bushes.  That was May 8th or so.  It was a brutal 97 degrees.  And it continued to be 95+ degrees every day in May.  This meant we didn’t get any landscaping done and the roses we planted have struggled… Until the middle of July.

So somewhere between April 19th when it snowed and May 8th we theoretically had spring.

In June we had consecutive days on 95+ degrees.  I actually don’t remember a day in June when you didn’t immediately start to sweat when you walked outside.  This awful heat was coupled with a massive pollen explosion.  We have 2 trees at our house, a cherry plum tree and an old pine tree, it’s more than 30 feet tall.  And every day in June, the pollen from that pine tree coated the cars in the driveway.

Around July 17th, when J had shoulder surgery, there were several days when the highest temps were low 80s.  Our roses got new leaves and started to flower again.  And the first couple days of J’s recovery I was able to work outside, which I love.  And we got rain for the first time since May.  Real rain.  Not thunderstorms so much as hard, steady, driving rain and we had flash flooding as a result.

Now, it’s the middle of August and they are predicting that the highest temps we will see between now and September is 90.

What?!  My birthday is the middle of August.  When I was a kid, we had my birthday party at an outdoor pavilion once and the icing on my cake melted.  It was not an ice cream cake.  It was 114 the day I was born in 1980.  Yet on August 18th, I was able to move outside and enjoy a day of working at the little table on our patio.  And there was actually only one day the week of my birthday this year that required me to work indoors.  I was able to sit outside and enjoy the weather nearly every day.

I am used to a mild June with a few days at 90 degrees, but those are towards the end of June not every day of it.  I’m used to a brutally hot July and August.  Day after day of dryness, high humidity levels, and blistering heat.  Normally, on any given day of August in Missouri you can fry eggs on concrete.  This gets followed by a mild September where the weather is in the 80s some days, but 70s are the norm.

The last two years have not gone this way.  And as I write these, the elm tree we planted has new leaves, all our roses have buds and my peppers are doing spectacular.  In the 20 years or so that I have been growing peppers, I have never had a summer where my peppers stunted because it was amazingly hot when they got planted.  Normally they go in the ground in late March or early April, this year they went into the ground in May, which felt like July, followed by a June that felt more like August and they required me to water them nearly every day because there just wasn’t any rain at a time when I would normally have to be weary of fruit rot from the excessive moisture.  And if I had planted them in March or early April like normally, they would have died.  Frost and snow kills them.

Needless to say, it has been a very weird weather year.

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