One day last week it was 95 degrees with a dry wind blowing about 300 miles an hour. When I came in at the end of my day, I flopped down on my back on a cool tile floor, panting like a wounded water buffalo.
Twenty-four hours later, the temperature was 58 degrees and dropping, and I was huddled under a quilt listening to rain on the roof and wondering if I needed to put the snowblower back on the tractor.
I like some variety in my weather, but this is just crazy. Anna’s yellow roses are blooming – about ten days earlier than ever before. Usually we’re hoping there will be some out for Memorial Day; this year we’re hoping there will be a few left.
The animals don’t know what to do. We’d started to have our usual first bout with wood ticks, a serious issue on this farm, considering we have a dog without any ground clearance at all, but then the weather turned cold and all the ticks stopped creeping around and instead spent their time knitting little tiny sweaters.
They aren’t the only bugs acting strangely. We haven’t had a plague of locusts yet, but our house is swarmed with ginormous grey moths. They don’t really do anything except flutter around, but since they’re about the size of a small kitten, I don’t understand how they’re getting in. Is there some mother ship hidden somewhere in our house, laying moth eggs at every opportunity? If so, I disapprove. Last year we had giant black flies - they fluttered less, but buzzed more.
I’m not sure I can blame the weather for the bug problems, but I’ll try. At a meeting a few years ago, I sat at a table with a climatologist from a big university. When he found out where I was from, he was very excited.
“Do you realize,” he said, “that where you live and the Ural Mountains in Siberia have the worst weather in the world?”
No, I hadn’t realized that. And, really, I would have preferred not knowing it.
I understand that weather can be an issue here, but I prefer to look on the bright side. First, no poisonous snakes – that’s a big plus as far as I’m concerned. No tsunamis, ever, and since we’re fifteen hundred miles from the closest ocean, I’m not seeing a big danger there, unless we have some sort of Hollywood disaster type tsunamis. And if that happens, we’ll just have to let Bruce Willis or Spiderman deal with it. I experienced two earthquakes here, but I didn’t even feel one of them so it probably shouldn’t count. There’ve been no hurricanes or massive plagues of jellyfish. The giant pythons overrunning the Everglades are still 1644 miles away (it’s the sort of thing I like to keep track of) and because a python can travel only about 12 miles a day (I looked it up) with time out to digest any deer or Rottweilers they eat, they could never make it here before November. I can almost guarantee that November in Minnesota will stop even a big snake. All the really bad disasters – alien invasions and meteorite strikes – seem to happen in New York or Los Angeles. We’re the place people run to after New York has been blown up. And most folks will probably stop in Wisconsin, so we’d be safe from any big city riff raff overrunning our county and making us serve bagels instead of pancakes for breakfast.
So, yes, we do have crazy weather, and, yes, it does appear to be making the animals and bugs crazy, too, but all in all, there are many worse places to live.
Florida, I’m talking about you.
Copyright 2011 Brent Olson