Battle of the Seasons–2015

Battle of the Seasons–2015

The semi-annual battle of the seasons is on in the High Desert of southern California. Where we lived before we would wake up one day to a damp-earth/crocus-blooming scent and say “Today is the first day of spring.” We might have a freeze later, but the back of winter was broken. Or, sometime in October, the wind came up with a razor-sharp bite, a few yellow leaves drifted down, and even if Indian Summer followed, this was fall.
Here there is no such identifiable change. For weeks, or even a couple of months, the seasons fight it out. We have a few days of 80+ temperatures, then the thermometer drops for another week of chill, or if not snow flurries, a storm arriving over the mountains leaves them capped in white, only to melt away a day or so later.
Our peach tree bloomed by the end of February; whether it set fruit or froze, we aren’t sure. Last year it bloomed in mid February and on account of the wild temperature fluctuations we had a crop of only half a dozen peaches. The fig tree shows frost damage, so we don’t expect any fruit this year. The first grapes frosted, but the vines will try again and we’ll probably have a crop.
We have our first lettuce and radishes coming up; they don’t mind a frost. One can only toss a coin to decide whether to put in tomato plants now. They could do well and give us an early crop–or they could frost and need to be replanted. It’s anybody’s guess. One day is winter, the next spring. Soon the battle will be over and summer the victor.

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