Summer In October

summer_in_octoberWhat’s wrong with this picture: sunshine, shorts and flip-flops, and jack-o’-lanterns? It’s mid-October and it’s in the 80s here. It’s fall! Pumpkin everything (lattes, beer, cookies…) is out now, and seems better suited to cooler weather.

Thankfully, the humidity is lower than it was in the summer, and the strong breezes are pleasant, but it just feels odd for it to be so warm now. The trees’ leaves didn’t turn the gorgeous autumn hues that they did last year; they just turned brown and dropped. They rest, shriveled, on the ground, crisply crunching underfoot. Fortunately, no raking is needed – the rabbits like to eat the leaves, withered or not.

We recently saw a squirrel knocking walnuts out of a tree – it’s working on its winter stores, but will winter come this year? And if it does, will it appear suddenly, shocking everything with its chill? Or will we being wearing shorts in December again?

The unpredictability of the weather is a challenge for farmers. Many projects are dependent on expectations of what weather will (should) be like, and unseasonable weather throws a wrench into those plans. Maybe the real question is what is “normal” weather now?

We’ll roll with it and hope this weather is just an anomaly, but it feeds the creeping suspicion that predictable weather may be a thing of the past.