Cherry Blossoms covered in snow
Snowy cherry blossoms

We had a warm streak in early March that lasted long enough to trick the early flowering trees into blossoming. Too soon, little flowers, too soon. The snow stuck around for a day or two, followed soon by another storm with much colder temperatures and more snow.

Finally, a month after this photo was taken, the time was right for the trees to begin opening.

It seems that weather patterns have been disrupted lately. Winters are not predictable as they once were, turning into a mixture of a heat wave one week and an arctic blast the next.

Plum tree blossoms with snow on branches
Snowy plum tree blossoms

These trees that I photographed are decorative—planted in my neighborhood to look pretty and not to provide food. But these same erratic weather patterns are affecting and will continue to affect our fruit trees, other crops, and food supply. For example, fruit and nut trees need a certain amount of cold weather, or “chill hours,” in winter in order to produce fruit during the growing season. Peach farmers in Georgia are expecting an even worse year than last year’s crop yield, in part due to record low amounts of chilling hours.

Let’s hope we can stop climate change before we run out of food.

 

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