Spring Phenology Part 2

bvv logo

Hi everybody and welcome to Spring Phenology Part Two. As you may have remembered, in part one (my first blog post) I interviewed my mom about spring phenology and discussed the effects of climate change on spring phenology, among other things. This is an update. Recently we have been having some pretty crazy cold weather, and you know what? It may be caused by climate change. 

Just FYI, if you have no idea what spring phenology is, check out this post if you haven't already. https://www.evescidery.com/phenology/ I recommend reading it first.

It's literally hailing-in May.
It's literally hailing-in May.

Ok, so in Spring Phenology Part One, we talked a lot about how erratic weather was causing the apple trees to send out buds super early, but now a whole new challenge is being posed to us. In Part Two, we are talking about snow and bitter cold in May.

The glaciers are melting. You probably knew that, but it's worse than you think. The melting ice is causing the polar vortexes to leak cold air down on to the rest of the world. Sorry, getting ahead of myself. 

The science behind the polar vortex: You might want to put on a ...

Basically what is happening is the polar jet streams, which are like cycles of air, are being messed up because of glacial melt. It changes yearly, but climate change is affecting it a lot. Anyway, the polar vortexes are these big masses of cold air above the poles, and due to the increasing melt, that cold air is leaking out into our weather cycle. 

snowy orchard

So what does this mean for the apple trees of New York? Remember how the buds started growing early? All that potential fruit has been at risk of freeze damage due to the crazy cold streaks that have been washing over us these past weeks. 

apple buds

The closer the flower buds get to blooming, the more vulnerable they become. The recent cold spell was a big blow, especially since the buds were more developed from the warm weather. Our whole crop could be damaged, but my parents have hope. “I went out to the orchard and cut a bunch of buds open and I didn't see too much damage.” Autumn says. We are holding our breath, but the worst is over.

trellis tree

What does that tell us? For me this illustrates how real climate change is becoming for all of us. It is becoming less and less a thing that we read about and more of a thing that we are experiencing ourselves. It's scary, it's terrifying, actually, I just want to put that out there, someone has to.

Thank you for reading, I hope this finds you safe, healthy and feeling ok. Until next blog post, Leila out.


Hi there! Welcome to my column: The Beckhorn Valley View.

My name is Leila. (LAY-LA, not LIE-LA) I'm the un-schooling, circus performing, art-loving daughter of Autumn and Ezra. I now have my own column in the Eves Cidery farm blog. In my regular column you'll get a Leila-eye-view of the farm, I'll share with you the beautiful scenery of the cider orchards, art, poetry, a unique glimpse of my distracted parents and so much more. I hope you enjoyed the read, stay tuned!