2012: February in Michigan
I walked out to my mailbox the other day. The sun was shining and the temperature was near 50 degrees. I took my time on the way back, walking through my yard and noticing the weeds that were popping up. Downy leaves of mullein plants dotted the lawn and several patches of bright green grass had replaced the yellow-brown winter grass. I walked along my garden and saw that both the hyacinths and crocuses were coming up.
Springtime in Michigan? That's what it sounds like, but no--it's only February. To say we've had a mild winter would be an understatement. No white Christmas, no work for the snowplow drivers, no snow days for the school children and a surplus in the road salt supply are just a few signs that our weather is extremely unusual this year.
Ordinarily I would thrive on this. I'm not a winter person; I live for the other three months, especially summer. I don't like cold, snow or ice. But what happens when winter fails to arrive?
Aside from the lack of work for several people, future plants and crops are in danger. If the trees begin to bud then freeze, our fruit crops could be nonexistent. Some hardy plants may come up, freeze over and still come up again in the spring but several will not.
In a state surrounded by and containing so many bodies of water it's difficult to imagine what could happen if drought occurs. When we have dry summers we count on plenty of moisture in the winter to refill our lakes, streams and rivers. No winter snowfall means no melt off and no melt off means low water levels. Smaller bodies of water could even dry up.
So even though I enjoyed my walk in the sunshine early in February and I won't enjoy icy roads, wind chills and freezing temperatures, this is Michigan. So let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
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