hursday, April 12:

We have had to light the furnace.  Never mind our hope that we were done with fires for the winter; the temperatures have taken a sharp downturn and we wish now we had not switched the flannel bed sheets for percale quite so soon.  One night in two we have a frost.  On Tuesday morning there was snow on the monastery roof when we went up for holy mass, although closer to the river temperatures stayed above freezing.  Yesterday it snowed, hailed, and rained, but not enough of any of these to break our dry spell.  We have given up covering the fruit trees.  What we might save by covering them we would just knock off the tree as we took the covers off every morning.

At least weather, being beyond man’s power to control it, can be endured with the resolution that comes with knowing a situation is not our fault.

We harvested our first asparagus last night, about a dozen stout spears.  Lettuce and spinach are doing well as they don’t mind the frost, but the tomato and pepper plants in the greenhouse are growing very slowly due to the low temperatures.  We will put off starting the melons and squashes in their individual four-inch pots until the weather moderates a little; started too early and too cold, they would probably rot rather than germinate.

The woods carry a faint look of autumn as the young leaves, rust and yellow and burgundy, wait for warmer temperatures to take on their spring green.  Trillium is only now opening on the northern slopes in the woods, and there are fewer than usual, but whether this is due to the temperatures, the lack of moisture, or some other influence we don’t know.  Usually the wooded creek banks are carpeted with them, and with bloodroot’s white candle flames.  The frogs in our small pond have given up singing and gone back to sleep in their mud beds.  We think of doing the same.

Wake us up when it gets warmer.