Thursday, January 04, 2007

What a strange winter - or - we'll pay for this

In the news today from the great white north:

"Winter weather has yet to arrive in Ontario and Quebec, and Environment Canada's long-term forecast isn't inspiring any optimism for substantial snowfall.

Senior climatologist David Phillips says almost the entire country is expected to be warmer than normal from January through March. That doesn't mean there won't be snow or freezing temperatures, but it's not good news for tourism operators already stressed by the mild season thus far."

Aside from the people who earn their living from winter sports and tourism, or selling home heating, most Canadians love mild weather in the winter. Today, it was almost 50 degrees F today (10 degrees C), and the parking lot at the golf course across the road from us was packed.

Cities are saving millions because there's no snow to be removed. Homeowners are saving big on heating oil and gas. There's less salt being poured onto the roads, so less salt pollution, and less damage to vehicles and to roadside plants.

Given all this good news, some are saying, "Bring on global warming." I'm not so sure, but I'm rather fond of winter, which I think is easier to take when you live in the country, rather than the city.

I wonder what this warm spell is going to mean for plants that are starting to wake up months before they should? Are the insect pests that usually get killed off by the cold going to be out in full force this summer?

Though most of us enjoy a mild winter, there's always the suspicion that we're going to pay for it down the line - that's just the Canadian way.

5 comments:

  1. It will definitely be interesting to see how things go. I have jacob's ladder, Japanese anemone, and various other plants sprouting up from the ground. Some of my ornamental grasses (carexes and fescues) never went dormant, either.

    I don't know that it's Canadian to always wait for the other shoe to drop... "You know we're going to pay for this" has been the refrain for the past month or so in Cleveland, too!

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  2. So happy I bumped into your site. I don't have a garden here in the mountains yet. We need to build a small greenhouse first. I did container gardening on my deck last spring but it didn't turn out very well. We have five acres, mostly rock. Thanks!

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  3. Hi Kathleen: Thanks for writing. Good luck with your gardening. YC

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  4. Andrea6:06 PM

    Trade ya. Here in Vancouver we've got snow! Snow, fer chrissakes. Isn't that an eastern thing?

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  5. Friday, Jan. 12: Well, the snow is coming overnight, but just a dusting. But by Wednesday we will have real winter temps: -12 degree C daytime and -23 degrees C overnight.

    Are the plants acclimatized for that? Not in the least. Fortunately, it will get warmer after that again. This winter is just looking weirder, and weirder.

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