(PICTURE TAKEN OFF WEB. ARTIST UNKNOWN)
I was shopping in Bi-Mart, for seeds, with Mary, who was pretty new to the Valley, and she was asking me about the strange weather right now. “Isn’t there supposed to be sunshine and heat now?” She asked me. She was going to grow things in Eugene, and she was discouraged about the cloudy weather when it was almost June.
“many years ago,” I said to her, “we used to have fierce weather during the winter, snow times of rain freezing cold. But we also had very very hot sunny summers. Well, that’s not a guarantee anymore.” “What you mean?” She asked, confused.” I thought that the weather here had become very mild. You don’t have tons of rain –” “no we have a drought, which is worse,” I replied. “– And you don’t have freezing winters and snow and frozen stuff, what’s with the cloudy sky and no sunshine now?” “Well,”I explained, that’s part of the package of the new weather now. We have mild winters, but we also have no guarantees of nice hot summers anymore, full of sunshine.”
“I don’t get it,” she went on further, more and more confused. “Don’t you have tons of pollen?” “Yes,” I kept replying, “yes, we’ve got that..that is partly due to global warming, the huge increase of pollen all over the world, including here is tremendous. And this Valley has gotten a lot worse with global warming.” “So I still don’t get it!” She exclaimed. “I thought you were supposed to get very very hot summers lots of heat lots of sunshine!”
It was rather humorous,but sad to have to explain to a new person, that the changes in the weather to make the Valley much milder during the winter, had also transformed the SUMMER WEATHER also. “It’s like this,” I went on, “we now get very foggy cloudy overcast days, even as much as a whole lot during the summer. – – Whether there’s supposed to be hot weather and sunshine. For some reason, it also transformed the summer, as well as the other times, and we can’t rely on having nice hot summers anymore. We’re as bad as Alaska a lot of the time – – NO SUNSHINE.”
“I still don’t get it and I’m getting it worse and worse,” she protested, she was clearly really anxious and angry about it. Apparently the guidebooks and introductions to Eugene and the Valley, had told that it was a wonderland of gardening. Ha ha. Well, it wasn’t exactly a wonderland of GARDENING, it was a wonderland of “illusions about gardening.” “I’m sorry,” I tried to explain in a nice way.” You should have come here and rented a place for a while to see what the weather was like. It is very cloudy and foggy and overcast a lot of the time even months out of the summer. I’m sorry, maybe they should apologize to you.”I really didn’t know what to say to her anymore.
“maybe you should wait and not garden this summer, and see if you like it first.” I said. “If you can’t put up with the long days of clouds, damp and overcast skies, during the summer, gardening here might not be for you. Or, you might get a greenhouse and grow lights. Lots of people have to do that. At least, the greenhouse. When I came back here, I was astonished at how the summers had changed, and my squash in my backyard, was waiting for hot July, to finally make all the damp and moisture and cold go away. Instead, one July it was so cold and damp and overcast, it rotted everything in my garden and I gave up on it. I just could not guarantee even a hot July anymore for gardening.”
“it’s just the VALLEY. The weather has definitely changed okay, but somebody should’ve warned you about all the damp cold overcast and cloudy skies and days, even for weeks during the summer. Bummer summer. Maybe you should go to the coast and just have a good time and forget about stupid gardening for now.” Now she was really upset. “COLD wet and damp and cloudy JULY? You’re kidding!” She replied.
“Sorry, maybe it’ll get better later, but we just don’t have those nice hot long summers, and Indian summers here anymore.I’m not crazy about it myself,” I continued.” I mean, my family used to have a whole big orchard back there, it blasted with fruit during the summer, but we had old Oregon weather. This is NEW Oregon weather.I can’t garden like that anymore, and I’ve tried. I gave up on it.
“You might have to go to a nursery, especially one on the coast, and try to get information on gardening for coastal damp weather. Well, I don’t know what to do about the sunshine. Maybe you really really need sunshine! I know I do. But yes, they still try and garden on the coast, when it’s very damp and overcast, I guess they can do it. They have a gardening store way out there.I know that in Salem, my friends can garden okay they get sunshine and hot weather. Just not here anymore.” I didn’t want to completely discourage her, she had already moved here.
“But I heard that you have a drought here,” she continued. “How can you have a drought, and not get enough rain and yet you have cold overcast cloudy foggy days of no sunshine? That doesn’t make any sense. If you have a drought don’t you have to have lots of hot weather and sunshine?” “I guess not,” I said sadly.” Maybe in California but I guess not here. That’s the Valley! It’s not the San Fernando Valley. It’s not the Death Valley.it’s not the Valley of Kings. It’s the valley of sickness(that’s what the Indians named it.). Maybe we should go to an expert, a real weather expert and get explained to us. But I haven’t found one yet willing to do that.”
(Sandraminadotty, celebrating her new brief and short blog entries. It beats editing, which I’m really bad at. And I’m also very bad at making my blog entries brief. The one going to celebrate this one, and have lots of food I shouldn’t have, to make up for all the calories I’m expending,trying to keep warm now. and it’s almost June? Ouch! Turn on the heat! Fire up the radiator!) 🙂