Thursday, December 5, 2013

Jack Frost is Eating my Lemons

Here in the Central Valley of California, winter is vastly different from what I enjoyed/endured in my early years.  In upstate New York, I remember when the temperature plummeted to 52 degrees below zero.  In Massachusetts, the snow fell and fell and fell.  And not so long ago here, winters gave us endless rain and fog.  In more recent years, winters have meant occasional rain—not nearly enough—and much less fog than previously and an occasional overnight freezing temperature.  This does not bode well for our reservoirs even though they are easier winters for us homosapiens to endure.

This early winter/late fall, we are expecting freezing weather and even a possibility of snow.  According to the local newspaper, The Sacramento Bee, there was a dusting of snow in 2002, 1996 and 1988 and significant snowfall in 1976.  I remember that 1976 snowfall when I lived in the San Francisco Bay area; and based on my youth in New England and New York, I would never have described it as “significant.”  Rather it was enough to roll up the tiniest snowman, make a snow angel and maybe fashion a few snowballs to throw for the dog to fetch.  And those were only possible if done immediately after the snow fell because it melted away in record time.

Tonight I am worried for my precious Meyer’s lemon tree that I've been coddling for several years as we’ve been told the temperature will fall below freezing.  After many years of a lemon-less tree, we finally have what can modestly be called a “crop”—nine lemons in all.  Lest Jack Frost consider the demise of my citrus treasures, all have been plucked from the scraggly tree.  I’ll not yield a single lemon to Jack Frost.

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