Thursday, November 11th, 2010 by tamara
Is the summer over finally? Are we going to get any more rain? How cold is it going to get this winter? What does the long range forecast say? What kind of a Niña do we have? Questions, so many questions, it’s enough to make you say enough already!
The first question – is summer over? Well I’m sure it will warm up again, I hope not as hot as it has been, but we are in for a little more warm weather down the road. Those of you that have lived in Florida long enough know that when it comes to predicting the weather down here, just about the only thing you can say is “yep, we will have weather.”
Of all the challenges we face in agriculture the weather and trying to figure out what’s going to happen in the future is one of our biggest. Of course we now have all the sophisticated weather folks with all of the models to plug in to tell us what the patterns will be. We have a moderate La Niña in place right now, so what does that mean? Well last year we had an El Niña and it was pretty chilly for a while according to some. Now we have the opposite but I understand that both have the potential to bring weather extremes to our state also. Some are calling for a warmer and drier winter with a good spring others are not so sure. As we get a little further along I will update the action. Shoot, I will be an expert about March 15th 2011!
What we all need to keep in mind is it doesn’t matter what kind of a winter is predicted, just prepare for the worse and pray for the best. I know I am preaching to the choir but make sure everything is in good working condition and ready to go. We can have the best conditions out there but as we have all learned it only takes one bad night and that’s all folks.
I was sitting at our hunting camp this weekend and it was really windy and pretty cool, so my son and I lit a grove heater that we use over there a lot and as it started it was woof woofing. Now for those of you that have never had the privilege of firing at night, you wouldn’t recognize the sound of a return stack heater as it began to heat up and you adjusted the air flow so as to keep the fuel flow to a minimum and still do the job. But that’s another story for later. I began telling Travis(my son) about the old days when we would stay up night after night keeping heaters going trying to save trees and fruit. He said “that sounds like a lot of work.” “It was son,” is all I said but the memories that were going through my head are priceless. I wouldn’t want to do it again but I wouldn’t take anything for all the friends I have made and the experiences I had during all those nights firing.
So I haven’t looked at the wooly caterpillars or checked how many acorns or hickory nuts the squirrels have stored up, but there is truth in the old signs. Farmers used them for many years before we had the information that is available to us today, they watched all the signs and made their decisions bases on all of that and they survived.
Rain, yeah we will get some more when we need it the most, it will be too cold, too hot and we, like the citrus growers back then will survive also. I think next time I will take everyone through a real good night of firing and some of the folks that worked up around the Weirsdale area in the early freezes of eighties to the end in eighty nine. Stay tuned, you’re sure to get a laugh!