In the midst of having my daughter and granddaughter here for a visit (yes, pictures will follow, but I just had to get this in...) we had a dramatic shift in our weather. It had been warm with nights of having fans blowing on us to keep us all cool, or at the very least, comfortable. That was until last night.
This year has been a strange year, gardening-wise. We had cool weather last until the end of June. Even cold-loving seeds planted in late May were hesitant to do much of anything. Beans crept along...corn seems to be held in stasis...the tomatoes and zucchini planted in containers on the deck just sat there. When July hit, so did the hot weather of summer bringing with it the intensity of our 7,000 ft. summer sun. The monsoons never really amounted to anything. We watered and watered hoping for storms to come through to stimulate the garden into doing something.
But last night was the kicker. We got frosted. Usually we don't see any sort of frost until around 15 September, but in actuality we can have frost on any day of the year. Such is mountain living.
I was glad for the cool night for good sleeping. I vaguely remember Daisy trying to get under the covers with me while Mooch snuggled up along my leg, purring and vibrating, glad for the warmth. But when I got up this morning and turned on the TV to see what the forecast was for today, I saw the notice -a new record low temperature had been set for Flagstaff last night. Flagstaff itself was 36 F. Seeing that I knew we had to have gotten lower, most likely at least 32 F if not lower. I only had to walk outside and view the damage. The container tomatoes, zucchini, and some of the flowers on the deck were hit. So were the green beans and corn. The pumpkins were totally taken out. Sorry, sheep. It'll be store-bought pumpkins again this year. Some of the plants might try to come back, but we really don't have much time left in our growing season for them to make a good comeback. Darn.
I just have to remember the definition of what an optimist is: Optimist - A gardener in Flagstaff, Arizona. I know I'm not alone. Most other mountain gardeners have this same problem.
At least I hope I'm an optimist...some years I just feel like a fool.