Tag Archives: global warming

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!

After yesterday’s storm, I believe Shakespeare’s King Lear got it right. The winds were certainly raging yesterday. I hope that all of you survived with homes and health intact. Pete had given me a call at work, letting me know that a line of bad storms was heading our way. I took a look at The Weather Channel online and rushed downstairs to tell my co-workers that they needed to head home. The sky looked a little dark, not too bad. That rapidly changed as I drove home, about a ten minute drive. When I pulled into the driveway, Pete was pulling potted plants into the garage. We managed to switch out the cars so mine was protected by the house before all hell broke loose. I’ve been through a tropical storm and three tornadoes. I’ve never been so scared as I was yesterday afternoon.

The trees were bending sideways, Rumpke containers were racing down the street, and transformers were flashing. We were trying to save the plants on the front porch, bringing them inside as quickly as we could. Once the porch furniture began to fly across our porch, I told Pete to get inside and stay away from the windows. (You can see the end result of the wind in the picture.) I kept expecting the power to go off, but with only a few flickers, it stayed on; we are so thankful for that. Our neighbors across from us are without power as are some others we know nearby.

After the storm was over, I walked around the neighborhood, taking in the damage. The box elder up the street lost a large limb and is most likely beyond saving. The silver maples were split, limbs everywhere. This picture was taken in the alley behind our house. We saw few oaks down, a testimony to their strength. The large pin oak down the street was fine, and it is probably the largest tree in our neighborhood.

Today, we went out to run some errands and saw trees down everywhere along with power lines. Most of the trees were silver maples like the one in this picture. Down by the Ohio State Med Center, where construction is going on, I marveled that the cranes, so high up, were still standing. With the Dispatch reporting 82 mph winds at Don Scott Airport and power outages all over Central Ohio, I have no idea how they managed to stay intact when billboards were flattened and awnings ripped to shreds.

Again, I hope that all of you managed to weather the storm in good health. If you have pictures or stories to tell about your experiences yesterday, please let me know. I hope that this isn’t how our weather will be in the future. Pete believes this is a harbinger of things to come because of global warming. OSU professor Lonnie Thompson would agree, as this article shows. Just another reason to plant more trees and do whatever else we can to protect our planet.

Until next time.

There’s Something Happening Here…

In reading my latest mystery book, I came across a word that caught my eye: “vagaries”. I had a vague notion of its meaning, but went on-line to be sure. According to Merriam-Webster, it means “an erratic, unpredictable, or extravagant manifestation, action, or notion.” What a perfect word to describe this winter weather we’ve been having. My poor rose bush has sent out shoots of green, only to have them turn to black from the cold. The spring bulb garden has sprung, with one lonely flower already wilted and spent. The Helleborus Orientalis (Lenten Roses) in my side garden haven’t bloomed at all, most likely wondering if winter will ever arrive for good. Snow blowing sideways on Sunday, and tomorrow the high will be 57. The vagaries of weather indeed!

Last week, the USDA set forth the revised planting zones for the United States. These are the 13 zones that help gardeners decide what plants should survive in their yards. The previous 1990 map (see picture below) used temperatures from the period 1974 to 1986 while the new map uses temperature from between 1976 to 2005. Ohio, which was split between zones 5 and 6, now is mostly in zone 6. The USDA is distancing itself between the changes to the map (where everything seems to be shifting northward) and global warming. Granted, the latest map uses temperature extremes and better weather information such as acknowledging cities are warmer than rural areas and large bodies of water can affect temperatures, making the data used in 1990 less sophisticated than what was used in 2012. Personally, I think it’s just another indication that our planet is changing. That’s why it’s so important to do whatever we can to reverse the trends.

So, what do you think about the revised USDA planting zones?

Until next time!