Thursday, April 12, 2012

Graupel and the Pear Trees

 Somehow when it's winter and plants are being ordered for spring,  a gardener pictures a pleasant spring day.  One that is cool enough to dig without getting too hot, but sunny and comfortable. The pear trees, blueberries and strawberries that Ed ordered arrived late on Monday and it was cold.  The door on the UPS truck was closed, and instead of those nice brown shorts the driver was wearing  long pants and an extra brown  vest.

The package was placed in the basement. Tuesday Ed began to dig. In some places you can dig a hole  plant a tree and replace the dirt.  Here it doesn't work that way. This rock was in the pear tree's chosen hole. It was standing in a vertical position. Usually Ed would love to find a good wall stone, but sometimes he's not in the mood.

He was almost finished digging the first hole when he discovered this stone. It did not come out easily. Since the hole contained quite a few stones, added dirt was necessary before the trees could be planted. Ed was busy with his wheelbarrow and tractor for  much of the day.

Wednesday  was not a nice spring day. Ed went out anyway. I had things to do inside. There was an occasional ray of sunshine, but there were also rain showers. When the little white balls of graupel began to fall I got the camera. I don't know if Ed has been graupeled on before. It was a new kind of precipitation for me.  I looked it up in Peterson First Guides:Clouds and Weather. Graupel is soft hail. It often flattens into a splat when it hits the ground.  Formed high in the clouds,  the particles are often electrified. Here they seem to be melting fast.

 Ed worked diligently despite the weather while I  snapped his picture from a distance from the comfort of my heated living room.  I hope the steaming  chili we had for dinner made up for it.

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