I’m starting to suppose local weather change is knocking the predictability of sure climate patterns askew. Living proof: the climate forecast is for a La Nina yr.

In response to climate scientists, this happens when summers are dry and winters are chilly. Agreed, that matches our climate sample… a dry summer season of bailing our kitchen sink and reclaiming our laundry water for the backyard and our first arduous frost of -5 C on Oct. 25.

We additionally had some late-blooming flowers within the fall – the roses and honeysuckle to call however two. And would you consider, we noticed a big dogwood tree within the Oyster River space which was coated in blooms in late August, of all months. Fairly the sight to see white flowers concurrently the purple berries.

Talking of berries, it was an excellent harvest yr judging by the 12 kilos or so of aronia berries from our one shrub and the Amelanchier x grandiflora (serviceberry) was loaded as effectively. One other certain signal of a La Nina yr, apparently. However didn’t discover that the apple skins have been overly robust. Perhaps as a result of we have been recurrently giving a few of the bailed water to the espalier apple tree so the apple crop wouldn’t undergo unduly.

Different La Nina indicators climate forecasters be aware embrace: birds migrating early, the width of the rust band on the wooly bear caterpillar, leaves dropping off the tree later within the fall, thicker skins on the onions… the listing goes on.

Whereas I can not touch upon the onion skins as a result of we don’t develop them in our backyard, I can say that I observed the robins had disappeared across the center of September. However then they reappeared later in October, only for a few weeks or so earlier than disappearing as soon as once more.

Not so the hummingbirds in our backyard. They’re sticking round for one more winter. Must verify my data however suppose this have to be the fourth or fifth yr they’ve stayed.

Here’s a puzzle for you: might the hummingbirds be staying right here due to the worldwide warming results within the backyard, or are they acclimatizing to the periodic temperatures reaching -10 C and decrease? Definitely, the -12.5 C that I recorded on Dec. 15, 2016, had me frightened for his or her welfare. And but they endured. Fortunately.

We have been very shocked the chestnut leaves didn’t all drop off the tree the day after the arduous frost in late October, which is the tree’s regular behaviour. Excellent news for me because it gave me extra time to choose up all of the nuts earlier than the leaves buried them. And we nonetheless have lovely golden yellow leaves on the birch tree… even after that horrific windstorm and snowfall.

What concerning the wooly bear caterpillar’s winter prediction? I’ve seen a number of of those caterpillars in our backyard this fall. A few of them have large rust bands and a few have slim ones. Is it going to be a chilly one or not?

If the raccoon who was foraging for grapes on the arbour the opposite night time is any indication, it might effectively be a tricky, chilly winter for a lot of on this La Nina yr. Particularly for the reason that grapes had been picked clear weeks in the past. So unhappy because the coons by no means enterprise up there this late within the yr.

With all these variables in climate forecasting now, I simply take a look at the thermometer and verify the sky to see how I ought to gown within the morning. Time to depart the folklore to the “of us” and take heed to the science.

Leslie Cox co-owns Rising Concern Cottage Backyard in Black Creek. Her web site is at www.duchessofdirt.ca

Comox Valleygarden life

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