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Winter is coming...

My wife harvested her onions, the tomato crop is picking up speed and I noticed the last cucumbers are big and yellow.

The champagne yeast is supposed to arrive today, which is good because I’m picking pears this week and want to take another run at making pear cider. I don’t always get a pear crop, I don’t always get them picked before a storm blows them off, and I don’t always have the time to fool around trying to make hard cider. I have hopes this will be the year everything works.

But I think that a lot. I’m often wrong.

Nighttime temps are in the 60’s and I swear I saw a gaggle of young swans flying overhead, testing their wings for the long trip to Chesapeake Bay.

It’s starting to feel a bit like fall, and that means, oh my Lord, where did the summer go?

The last time I spent fall in a city was in 1974. That was a while ago and I had other things on my mind, so I can’t really remember how I knew fall was approaching. It might be that I just didn’t notice. After all, when you’re living in a cheap apartment and have a job working indoors, preparations for winter aren’t that complicated.

Living where we live, you can’t help but be aware of the turning of the seasons, can’t help but start humming along with Mother Nature’s tune. And it doesn’t take long to realize that to ignore the signs of upcoming changes is a serious mistake.

There’s a lot of that going on. I start out almost every morning by reading the news, checking out about six different sources of information. I know it’s probably a mistake – first, because keeping up to date on the news is a good way to curdle the milk in your Rice Krispies and second, getting the news from multiple sources just can confuse your prejudices.

One of the things I always pay attention to is information about climate change. I remember when I first read about a dire prediction for the 2100. Rising sea levels, species going extinct, millions of the people who live near the equator on the move looking for a place to live, Colorado River running dry...all kinds of bad possibilities backed up by forty years of science. Then I realized that if my grandchildren eat their bran and wear their seat belts, they have a pretty good chance of being around then.

So that makes it my problem.

I find it fascinating that the parts of the United States with the fastest population growth are the places where the heat is rising, and the supply of useable water is shrinking. I don’t get it; I really don’t. It’s the same with people who have their houses washed away by a hurricane and rebuild the same house in the same place. Why would you do that? Changes are happening all around us, and you don’t need to be a scientist to see and feel them. To know a change is coming and simply decide not to do anything about it – that's like living on the edge of the prairie in western Minnesota and hoping winter won’t come this year.

We won’t have to wait until the next century for bad weather events. The number of days over 100 degrees in Florida are expected to double in the next thirty years. Same thing with Texas and other southern states. Thirty years isn’t that long. Heck, if I live to my parents’ ages, I could even be around.

But I bet I won’t be living in Florida.

Copyright 2022 Brent Olson

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