Thursday, January 31, 2013

Windy and Warm

At 5 AM this morning the temperature was 55 degrees Fahrenheit, a light rain was falling, and the wind blowing. Gray clouds were on the move all morning, booking from southeast to northwest. By late morning, blue sky had replaced the dark clouds. By mid-day it felt like a different day, except for the wind, which kept up its bluster into the evening.

Between the wind and the warmth and the rain, a lot of snow melted in the last 24 hours. Fields and south-facing slopes are suddenly nearly snow free.
Snow has melted away from the tops of the row cover in the vegetable garden. Seedlings of spinach, chard, beets, cilantro, and arugula are waiting out the winter beneath the cover. I assume the plants are resting until day length and temperature stir their cells to re-start green growth. My hope is that we'll find some fresh greens come March, unless the meadow voles get to them first.

Reemay row cover over low hoops -- protecting tender seedlings of spinach and other greens
The air temperature dropped steadily during the day -- 20 degrees in 12 hours. At sundown the temperature was 35 F.

For the past several weeks the Asplundh tree company has been clearing trees and limbs from beneath powerlines in our town. We were pleased that they took down several trees that we had flagged, especially since we kept the wood, while they chipped and removed the tops. This work is done under the auspices of our electric company -- Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) -- to help reduce the chance of storm-damaged trees knocking out power. Well, despite all the recent work, we lost power today for several hours. Somewhere along our local grid the high winds knocked a tree across a power line. I heard a few generators start-up in the neighborhood. I waited. With all the Asplundh trucks already in the area, I assumed the outage wouldn't last long, and it didn't.

Now if only we'd get some snow.

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