Journal | April 7, 2018

Hardscabble Journal

What the forsythia tells us

The first blooming of Forsythia was duly recorded last Friday. This is one of many important indicators of predicting, tracking and recording each spring’s evolution. Linden’s spring indicator records go back decades. They include the first evening of the peeper chorus, the first crocus and daffodils. Peaches, magnolias and cherries are next up to bat.

I never took much to numbers. I also saw how statistics could be easily manipulated to show whatever you want them to show. In farming there can be a lot of numbers involved in decision making: GDD (growing degree days), average number frost free days, zones maps, average low temperatures and rainfall.

Mother nature is more honest.

So as I recorded the forsythia date, I went back through past notes books (yes, still using notebooks; all this started in the pre-computer days and one must respect tradition). I expected this to be one of the latest dates for forsythia bloom given our cold March. But in fact it is pretty average. I had already forgotten about that warm February that woke up the peepers way too early.

Yikes. I thought we had more time before vine budbreak. I need to get back to finishing pruning.