|Foggy morning on Roundtop|
I can’t be the only one who thinks that trees leafing out in late March instead of early May verges on a scary abomination. Overnight, trees down off Roundtop Mtn. are past budding and are into the early leafing stage. It feels bizarre to me, and I despair of people who exclaim happily, “isn’t the weather wonderful?”No, it is not wonderful.
We are a full 9 days before the end of March, a full two weeks before the time of a normal last frost, and now the appearance of leaves on trees is going on 6 weeks earlier than it should be.
Stink bugs, ticks and mosquitoes are out. As stink bugs are worst in the early fall, having them be numerous now is Not A Good Thing. An acquaintance reported picking 20 ticks off herself and her dog this past week. That is Not A Good Thing. Mosquitoes? Yikes!
Fire danger is high and the forests are dry and crunchy. Yellow violets are blooming before the bloodroot (which will bloom for its one day of splendor later today) and both will be blooming 20+ days early.
Songbirds, especially warblers, normally migrate when the particular species of bug that normally appears in the particular layer of the forest canopy they inhabit first emerge. The bugs’ appearances are timed with the emergence of particular tree leaf buds. The bugs are here, the buds are here, but the birds can’t adapt to changing climate conditions so quickly. “Their” bugs will be gone when they get here. What will they eat as they try to fuel their migration north into the boreal forest? They are all probably still down in South America, happily fueling for the trip north, unaware that their “gas stations” in the eastern forest will be empty by the time they arrive.
If this is “wonderful” weather, give me something else.