Thursday, March 25, 2010

Up and up

Many things are on the up and up around here lately. First off, the temperature. The temps have been positively balmy these last two weeks, leading us to wonder whether spring has finally shown itself, or if this is just the mid-winter thaw come six weeks late. It is still March, you realize. This time last year we still had four inches of snow on the ground. Two years ago, we had twelve.

The rise in temps has led to a rise in floodwaters. Our county was declared a federal disaster area a few days ago. Lots of sandbagging going on. Luckily our house sits high on the prairie, and we are only troubled by some water in our basement.

The ice dams on the Minnesota River have broken through, helping the water to drain downstream. Sometimes the ice pushes its way across the land, and when it does it leaves a path of destruction in its wake. Lots of broken trees, signs, and landscaping. You can see a busted swingset in this picture, taken yesterday at a city park.

Another thing that's up this week -- my garlic! Hurrah! I covered the patch last fall with an old bale of wood shavings, and I estimate my germination rate (can you call it that with bulbs?) at near 100%. Last year only half of my garlic grew, so I am verily pleased.

I might be pushing the limits of warmer weather, but it felt so lovely outside working in the garden that I decided to plant a few things in the soil. I soaked some spinach, swiss chard and snap pea seeds in water for a few hours, and then popped them into the ground. I am hesitantly hopeful. Here in Minnesota, our spring season is so short-lived that anything extra we can wrestle away from mother nature is worthwhile.


Thistledog said...

Hurrah for garlic sprouting! That must really get your pulse up, it would mine. Can't blame you for chancing a few seeds; serendipitous opportunities for squeezing in an early, unplanned chance for fresh food should never be wasted, in my opinion.

Glad you're on high ground, too.

Erin said...

Yay for the garlic! Mine can't grow fast enough - I ran out in January of my garlic braids. Wow it seems like the flooding on the western border of the state used to happen once in a great while, and now it's every year. Hope your property stays dry! Mama Pea's daughter up in N. MN said it was 2 degrees the other night. 2 !!! Wow, that's quite a shift in temps lately. Here's hoping for an early spring for you!

Mama Pea said...

You really are experiencing an early spring! We thought we were too until Wednesday night when horrific winds brought in a cold front. COLD is an understatement. We had 9° yesterday morning and hubby and I both looked like Pillsbury Dough Boys swaddled in winter garb while working outside all day. (As Erin mentioned, our daughter farther inland had only 2° to our 9°.)

Sad to see the flooding wreaking havoc in your area. I hope not too much damage occurs.

Harold Phillips said...

We didn't get our usual "false-spring-then-cold-snap" this year in Portland, either. Usually we have warm and sunny temperatures in February March, followed by an ice storm or one last bout of below-freezing temperatures. This year... well, it rained a little after the early warm days (but then, this is Portland... it ALWAYS rains a little...)

Glad to hear that your house is far enough up the prairie that you don't have to worry about the flood waters... do your best to keep that basement dry!

Jo said...

Hi Thistledog! Yes, hurrah hurrah! Spring has sprung! I have a few pea sprouts coming up, but that's it so far ...

Hey Erin -- This year's 100-year flood isn't as bad as in 1997, but it's close. We lucked out by not getting hardly any rain the last few weeks, otherwise it would have been worse.

Hello Mama Pea -- The night time temps have fallen back to normal, mid-30s. But I'll take 30s over teens and naughts anyday. We didn't have any flood damage at our house, though we did get a bit at the park. Nothing too severe.

Hi Harold! We are trying our darndest to keep our basement dry, with the pump and dehumidifier running full tilt. Old basements are not smooth, however, so we have a few pockets of puddles scattered about. No salamanders yet, though!