Nature Photography

Predicting the Weather

The unrelieved heat and dryness of the summer has led to the outcome predicted by those of us who have lived in this valley for a couple generations of memory, or more. Here is my filbert, ten years old, learning it.

A hot dry summer is not about heat, but about timing. When spring is 3 weeks early and  the land goes through Autumn in mid-July, 3 weeks early as well, then winter will come hard and fast, bringing the missing water, and also 3 weeks early. It can bring prolonged drought as well, but usually when the cycle is shifted the other way: late frost in the spring, monsoons in July instead of June, and then the summer’s drought through the winter. Right now, though, catkins in the ice.

I was in the south of the valley yesterday, and looked north. The wind was eating off the tops of snow clouds, and rolling them over themselves. That’s not weather that is passing by but weather that is opening out of the pressure of the air. “Weather’s coming,” I said. “CBC reported flurries,” I was told. But I already knew. Am I predicting the arrival of spring? No way. It’s too early for that, but the day will come that I will know what I have already known because I have already experienced it, and it will find voice. This is what it’s like to be home.

4 replies »

  1. Thank you for your observant eye, Harold, and for sharing what you see and know from the context of your long time home. A perplexing image- Catkins, snow and two colours of leaves. Ruth .


    • It seems like there are a couple different seasonal rounds that slide past each other. This is one of the amazing intersections. By the way, the female flowers come out in the verrrrrry early spring/late winter, February usually.


    • Ha… I could talk about home for a long time. I am being considerate by trying to keep it to a minimum. Coming from a family of story-tellers, I have learned to at least try to contain my enthusiasms a little bit. Mind you, at over 1700 posts on this blog, maybe I have failed at the curbing!



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