Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Spring jumped the gun this year in Connecticut. I heard songbirds in the second week of February, a month during which we are normally encased in snow. The daffodils, tulips and hyacinths bloomed early, my hydrangeas are putting out leaves, and my peonies are knee high. The plum trees burst forth into blossom during a sweet week of 70-degree weather in early March and then...the month that came in like a lamb roared out like a lion. Temperatures dropped below freezing. 

George was worried that we'd lose the fruit in the orchard (as though the squirrels don't always get there before us anyway) or that the trees would be damaged. He remembered reading in his Weekly Reader (the little educational newspaper distributed in most U.S. elementary schools) eons ago about saving the fruit trees in Florida from unseasonal frost by spraying them with water and using smudge pots. We didn't have smudge pots, so...

Time will only tell whether or not the plum trees (or the peach, apple, pear, and cherry trees) will produce fruit this year, but the ice forest George produced with the sprinkler was impressive.  

The funny thing is that I remember reading the same Weekly Reader article in a DoD school in Germany, 4,500 miles away from where George read it in Kansas.  
Weekly Reader published its first issue on September 21, 1928, and is still going strong.  Today it is read by 7 million children.  What a long arm of influence that tiny little newspaper has had.