Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Odd summer, 2015

Japanese beetles remain frustrating

While not technically over and with some unusually warm weather in the forecast for Maine, this was an odd summer from a weather perspective. Coming off of record snowfalls, spring was very dry in our corner of the state. It was also a very cool for the first half of the summer. There were a few hot days and it looks like summer may be going to happen in September, but it's still dry. Only had to mow the lawn four times. Probably one more by the end of the month, but ....

It was so dry in the spring that hay yields have been 1/3 to 1/2 of normal. We put in bee hives for the first time and ended up with six swarms, something uncommon for new hives. Had only three pairs of barn swallows and ended up with 14-26 after hatchlings. But they went away in early August-normally they would only now be heading out. Japanese beetles were way down from two years of garden devastating hordes. For the first time in ten years apples on the tree were scab free and edible.

When it did rain it came all at once, so in some areas the total looks good, but the effect was not. getting 2-3 inches in a storm and then nothing for 2 weeks may keep averages up, but when the lawn is brown 2-3 days later, it just shows that averages don't tell the truth.

It is clear that weather/climate patterns are changing. The Jet Stream is not behaving and while El Nino has been building, one can only hope we don't get the same snow levels as last winter. Overall, it was just an odd summer.

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