Sunday, April 20, 2008


Sunday, 20 April

Back at the beginning of March, when we had 3 consecutive Saturdays of dry weather at Mason Lake, I thought "we are going to pay for this." Little did I know. North Shore was cancelled at the end of the month due to snow. April started with a cold and rainy wet Willamette but then, oh, then it was tantalizingly glorious 80-degree sunshine at Kings Valley (or Volunteer Park, if you think in circles). But for this, the third weekend of the month, it was back to the snow routine. I kid you not. Significant snowfall in Seattle (OK, in the north parts) on 18 April. Still around on 19 April. Today, 20 April, I rode north to Snohomish and encountered roads with snow right up to the fog line on the shoulder. One woman (out to pick up her Sunday paper in her bedroom slippers and pajamas) told me "you shouldn't be out in this!"

The funny thing about riding in snow in April (folks in Bend know this well, I'm sure) is that the air is cold off the snow but the sun has warmed up a lot since the regular snow season in Seattle (November-January). You're inhaling cold air but your back is overheating from sunshine on 5 layers of clothes, and inside your rain jacket (which you need because you keep riding through snow/freezing rain showers) it's that proverbial sauna. I was lucky today to never get drenched, which made staying warm a whole lot easier. [Note to self: Remove condensation from viewfinder before using a camera phone that's been in a jersey pocket.]

While the bike rider copes with the weather challenges day by day, the farmer sees the longer-term progression. In the process of shuttling my pots planted with peas indoors (to avoid the snow) and back outdoors (to soak up the sun), I noticed that the rhubarb was far enough along to harvest. So, to culminate this snowy weekend, we ate the first produce from the garden for 2008: rhubarb crumble. I've pulled the last of a carrot crop in cold November weather, but picking rhubarb on a snowy April weekend was a new experience!

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