Sudden Shifts

They say there’s a “ten minute rule” in southeastern Michigan: if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes. It’s an exaggeration, but only somewhat. We have weather that slides up the Ohio river valley and weather that slides down from Canada, and they seem to have a lot of fun with each other. I left town for a few days with the yard looking like this,

and returned to find it looking like this.

Those are not black and white photos; that’s what it has today for “color.” It seems all the more amazing to me because I spent the previous forty years in Southern California, where there is only one weather forecast for May through November. I can recite it by heart, but will spare you. December through April aren’t much different.

My immediate task is to get out the rake and knock the wet, heavy snow off the branches of various shrubs before they break under its weight. This is fun – organizing my own mini-blizzards. I could grab the ends of the branches and shake them, but the rake keeps me far enough back that the snow doesn’t land on me.

The ground’s not frozen yet, but I’m still glad I got the bulbs planted before I left. The air is cold. A thin coating of ice gathers on the handles of my tools, and when I pick them up it melts coldly onto my gloves. But next week it could be (relatively) warm again.

I’ll let you know.

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