Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Cold Blast for Imbolc

I have a feeling the groundhog won't like getting out of his burrow tomorrow. Over the last couple of days it's been unusually warm, with highs in the high 70's. I had my tomato and pepper seedlings out on the back porch enjoying some natural light and warmth, and I needed the air conditioning in my car when I drove anywhere.

Well, this morning Winter decided to make a final stand. A big cold front came through just before dawn and temperatures have been dropping ever since. When I woke up around dawn it was in the 50's. Now it's around freezing. The low tonight is forecast to be 17 degrees!

Yes, I brought all my seedlings in, and the citrus trees, and even my potted herbs, just to be on the safe side.

The good news is the front had a bunch of rain before it. Ok, I guess that's not good news if you're afraid of ice on the roads, but it is good news for the plants that I couldn't bring in because they're growing in the ground. Plants survive freezes much better if they're wet than if they're dry. I can't remember exactly why, but I think it has to do with how water cools down (and heats up) much slower than air. Being wet sort of insulates them. That's why citrus growers in Florida always turn the sprinklers on when they get a freeze.

It's supposed to be freezing every night for the rest of this week, and hard freezes at that, so the plants are going to have to stay in the garage for quite a while.

I admit it. I think big weather events like this are kind of exciting. It reminds us of how big and powerful Nature really is.

We have small chance of snow later this week. Oh, I hope we get some! I'm trying not to get my hopes up, though. It hardly ever snows here.

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