Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Icy Grip of Winter, Phenology

I have to think Winter is telling Spring, "You can have central Wisconsin when you take it from my cold, dead hand!" 

Yet again, measurable snowfall (I thought we were done with that!  Does it go on next winter's tally?).

The generations in my family are really messed up.  Baby Boo, Baby Gardener, is my nephew.  He has just turned one.  My father tells me of his aunt telling of how she, as a school child, experienced the year without a summer, when Krakatoa exploded.  That was in 1883. 

It froze every month that year.

This winter has been really cold.  Coldest on record dating back to 1890 (when they started keeping records, officially).   Before that my family has an oral history and as we liked to complain about the weather and write journals, we have some of our own written history. 

And, winter has been long.  In the UW-GB Cofrin phenology site, I read how this year has had the longest period of snow cover.  Pictures from space show a still frozen Bay of Green Bay.

Here on snow watch, the ground is still mostly frozen in my yard.  At least half my yard had three to four inches still on the ground before last night's snow.

I saw my first robins on the ground (versus on a road sign south by Montello), just two days ago.  The pair of mourning doves has been back about a week.  I first saw sparrows (I wish I knew which ones, dark russet patch on head on the male?) yesterday. I saw a sandhill crane flying February 28.  They usually have eggs laid about three weeks later.  This morning, I could hear them singing in the marshes around the village.  Talking about the weather, no doubt.

My mother says I should be watching for some snow owl from the Arctic, too as they have been sighted, confusing central Wisconsin for home, I guess.

Dr. Apps, across the way,  sweeping the snow from his front porch. The roof of his house is actually dark brown when not snow-covered.

Yeah, not a lot of looking for those first blooms happening here.  The snow PILE on the other side of one of the spruce has started to melt, showing massive damage to most of the branches six feet and down.  The pile on the other spruce is still above 6' or7'.

I raked out part of this bed two days ago.  The PJM rhododendron began to bloomed last year (2012) on March 25.

Alley side, a bridal wreath and a row of hydrangea lead to my weeping Red Jade crab.  I'd like to cutback the hydrangea, but they haven't been snow-free yet this spring.

I cut off this miscanthus, tied it up and put it in a stryrofoam pot, hoping to dress up the deck entrance a bit.  It's having a hard go of it between the winds and snowfall.

The Mill Pond is still ice covered here.   I heard Wednesday about someone in Illinois who called a village board member who also runs the gas station/gun shop/bait and tackle store asking about getting out on a particular lake with his boat.  The reply included bring the ice auger because the ice is still 22" thick according to reports he had.



  1. You have my sympathies. Honestly, it will not last forever.

  2. Oh honey, it is painful isn't it? Hope it doesn't snow again tonight, I AM digging this rain right now, though

  3. Spring has been difficult for all of us this year. It is coming, it is slowly rolling across the land.