Last night, as I was running out to my van to start it every few hours, I realised that this is the way I remember MN winters being when I was a kid.
According to the weather channel at 3am, the wind-chill in my area was between 30-40 below zero. Since Ms. Pain-in-the-butt at work put her car in the garage and then locked it so that I couldn't get my car in (hey, lady, it IS a two car garage!), I got to brave the cold in order to make sure my van would start in the morning.
I remember it routinely being this cold when I was a child. It seems that we have been spoiled the last few winters with abnormally warm temps. This year has decidedly less snow than the winters of my youth, but it still has had much more than the last 3 or 4 winters.
In a recent edition of Horticulture Magazine, there was an article where they speculated that in time MN will go from zone 4-3 to zone 6-5 due to climate change. The gardener in me is excited for the change, but the National Wildlife Federation did an article where they talk about the possibility (rather, the probability)that many of our state flowers will no longer be able to survive in the changing environment. Life here in MN without our beloved Pink Ladyslipper? And this will probably effect the state trees and birds, as well.
It is strange to think of such sweeping change. Here in the frozen north, I will definitely be able to grow more variety, especially of fruits. Still, it throws me off balance emotionally. I have in my mind a picture of my perfect homestead. I know every plant that I will grow, every wild edible that I will encourage to grow on my land. It is planned out so completely. It seems strange to think that all of that may change with our changing climate.