April Fooling

Reader Contribution by Allan Douglas
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In the 12 years I have lived here in East Tennessee, the latest snow or frost that we have had was April 2. That was the year we were trying to put in a house for my mom, and the snow and mud stopped construction for a few days. April Fool!

2014 sets a new record (at least in my personal experience) with snow and a frost on Tuesday night, April 15. Much of my garden is in, the fruit trees have blossomed, most of Marie’s flowers are up … this was not a welcomed gag.

It rained Monday night, but the temperatures had been up in the 60s and 70s for the past week. So the soil was warm and the rain started out warm. The rain continued on Tuesday, but the temperature was falling off, Monday’s low temperature of 52 F would be Tuesday’s high, heading for a predicted overnight low of 26 F. Rain turned to sleet then to snow, but with no accumulation.

Early in the evening the precipitation stopped. Temps in the mid 30s now. We scrambled around to cover as much of what we could cover to protect it from the coming frost.

I worked on the garden, Marie went after her flowers. We used sheet plastic, cardboard and straw to cover, rocks and wood scraps to weight things down. Nothing much we could do for the fruit trees. We went to bed knowing that what will be will be.

In the morning I awoke to a thermometer reading if 31 F Good news. A frost, but not a hard freeze. Once my morning dog chores were done and the temperatures came up a bit, I went out to pull off the covers so tender plants didn’t cook in the bright sun and 60-something temperatures expected this afternoon.

The forecast is for another cold night tonight: 30 F.  If they miss it by the same amount they missed last night, we’ll be fine … but I’ll put the covers back on this evening just to be sure. Weather is sneaky stuff.

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