Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Once again warm, for January, rain has dissolved our thin snow cover. Daytime temperatures climbed into the 40s F today and I walked to the back to check on my garlic. Only two plants have pushed new growth above the still frozen ground but we really need some lasting snow cover. The amount of stone on the surface surprised me. There was no time to sift out the stones last fall but I picked and raked stone for hours before planting the garlic. Only the big stones are gone. Small broken pieces litter the ground. Each stone is a reservoir of moisture that will aid the growing plants this summer but any garlic directly under a stone will have to work to reach the surface.
A recent solar flare may create northern lights visible in our part of New York State tonight. In our three score plus years we remember seeing northern lights on three different occasions. One of those sightings happened while we were living here in the country. There are no electric lights near us so our night sky is really dark. Any cloudless night features a sky filled with stars and planets. Stars are so numerous that it is difficult to find the constellations. Add northern lights to our already impressive celestial display and the experience is unforgettable. We were ready to be dazzled again tonight but as is so often the case all we will see is cloud bottoms. Still the optimist in us will send us to the windows to look for a hole in the cloud cover. There is always a chance that the sky will clear.
Through the evening we looked to the north hoping to see something. There was kind of an unusual pink glow to the thick cloud cover, but I think perhaps it was wishful thinking on our part.