Saturday, August 20, 2016

Worst Drought in 30 years. Maybe worst on record in this area.

We've had dry seasons before, and dry summers, and some summers that were crispy. This one takes the cake. The unseasonably warm winter led to a dry but pleasant spring, which we are now paying for.
The good news is that there were not as many inch worms as I expected this spring, the bad news is that due to the dry winter, there was an explosion of gypsy moth caterpillars, which apparently suffer from some kind of fungus in wet years, but this year they were free to proliferate. The cemetery didn't suffer much damage from them, though in other parts of the area they went to town on the trees.

The drought is taking a toll on the young trees, which we have tried to stave off by putting make shift watering bags on. (heavy duty trash bags with pin holes along the bottoms, tied up with zip ties) The larger trees are just hanging in there as best they can. I see many have dumped some of their leaves, some started to turn early.. We wont know the damage until later I think.
There has been a little rain in the last few weeks, very little but enough to bring the grass back from crunchy to crabgrass at least. The crabgrass and other usual weeds have been virtually nonexistent this year as well, which hasn't  been good for the birds and bees. Also missing are the bugs that the birds feed on. It's a mixed blessing when there are no mosquitoes.

As we head into late summer, the heat is still on outside, mid to high 80s. Some towns are down to a 30 day supply of water in their ponds and reserves. It's going to be interesting if we don't get some serious rain. Meanwhile in Louisiana they got 2 feet of rain in a day? And California burns. Last winter was an El-Nino winter, but supposedly that has gone by now.. So we'll see how this winter plays out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The affects of the inch worms and the warm warm winter up until now

The spring inch worm infestation had a noticeable affect on the quantity of the leaves that we didn't have to rake this fall. Though there are still leaves to pick up, they are far fewer than in any other year I can recall. Also due to the dry summer and fall, we were able to mulch leaves a lot longer than in many years. 
The long warm winter was also conducive to the breeding winter moths, so I expect another heavy infestation in the spring. 
This was the warmest year on record, around the globe. For the third year in a row. Sad to say that inch worms may be the least of the worries of the trees in the cemetery. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

After the record breaking winter.

May 19, 2015. After one of the most nightmarish winters since the Blizzard of 78, we are fully a month behind in our work. With over 100 inches of snow this past winter, endless cold, and snow that really did not fully melt until April (and as of last week, piles could still be found hiding in shadowy places here and there, though not in the cemetery thankfully) work that would have been done in March and April is not complete. Also with the aligning of the stars and a landslide of burials since the thaw, it is with great displeasure that I concede that there is no way things will look right for Memorial Day. We will try as much as we are able, but with three more funerals in this last week, it's not looking good. Leaves that would have been picked up will have to stay put while we try desperately to get the grass under some kind of control. Trimming will likely be lacking.
If there is a consolation, it's that we don't give up after Memorial Day passes. We will continue to work at it until it's done.. and then it will all start up again, as it does every season. Wash, rinse, repeat.

A note on the trees, its a brutal year for the inch worms, who started slow as well but are eating the trees bare. They as always particularly like any ornamental tree, the oaks, and our ancient maples are taking yet another beating. They are horrible creatures.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

View us on Facebook, because this blog is dead.

2014 is hours away and the last blog post was sometime in 2012…. Yeah, this is pretty much a dead space. We do have a pretty active Facebook page if you are seeing this and want to check it out. Just google North Weymouth Cemetery and Facebook and I'm sure you'll find it. All the latests animal sightings, tree plantings and weather updates. Also anything I deem interesting related to cemeteries or history or Weymouth. You never know what you might find.

As a historical weather note, last winter (2012-13), did prove to be a whopper of a snowy winter, but rather a mild one temperature wise in our area. The ground never really got a chance to freeze before the near constant snow cover insulated it for the season.

This winter has started out very mild, with ice and rain and warmer than normal temperatures. Here we are at New Years eve, and just yesterday there was no frost in the ground, and today the temps have plummeted and we have firm ground under our feet. And in 2 days we will have a winter storm that may bring 6-12 inches of snow. So who knows.. but we are defiantly warmer for the season, though at least we are getting much needed moisture as the latter part of the summer of 2013 was very dry.

Happy New Year all…  till next time.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summer 2012

This blog hasn't been touched in a few years, so I should probably update it.
Weather wise.. well, we had the winter that wasn't last year and now across the country we have one of the (if not the) hottest, driest summers on record. Last August we suffered from the affects of hurricane Irene, which downed a number of trees in the New Cemetery but was less damaging than Gloria or Bob. Then came the October snowstorm which thankfully spared us, but clobbered much of MA. Then there was the winter that wasn't, with almost no freezing temperatures  and little to no snow.  In years past, when we get little snow, the grown freezes hard and deep. If we get a layer of snow, then we can expect less frost in the ground. We got no snow, almost no frost, and then winter was over. We had an early spring, everything was sprouting a full month early from the trees to the bulbs. Then just as it began to dry out and we were into red flag fire warnings, we got soaking rains and that seemed to make up a bit for the dry winter. Summer rolled along hot and humid after that, with dry spells and then rain just enough to keep us going. Here we are in August with humidity and tornado warnings and torrential downpours at times, and with trees now starting to turn or lose leaves from the stress of the summer.

What a strange ride it's been, and I have no idea what the winter will hold. Part of this weather pattern is supposedly due to La Ninya. Will she change? Will we get snow or at least cold this winter? The entire country could use the snows and the water they bring.

In our own effort to be green, we have planted over 10 trees in the last 3 years. Four spectacular Linden trees, all of which seem to be doing well, three maples, two sycamore trees, and a number of flowering trees.  Hopefully they will all survive and in time provide the shade and beauty that makes our cemetery so attractive. 

In other news, the wildlife is really becoming quite amazing at the cemetery. Not 20 years ago, sighting a turkey was an unusual curiosity. Now they come by almost regularly, sometimes in flocks of 20. We've had hens nest in the cemetery, parading their chicks around. This year we had one hen make a nest right on the stone wall overlooking North St., not a foot from traffic! Luckily she and her brood survived and were last seen (maybe it was them) blocking traffic on Church St.  
And if it's not the turkeys, its the deer! Which while beautiful to see, also bring the dreaded tiny deer ticks, carriers of Lyme disease. Also more common this year and last are bunnies. The numbers of rabbits seemed to decline as the coyote and hawk populations climbed, but while I'm sure they are still out there, coyotes seem to be more scarce this year. Perhaps that is why there are more rabbits?  

On the burial front... Cremations seem to be the in thing these days. In these very dire economic times, more and more people seem to be opting for cremation than ever before. It's quite a change for the industry in this country, although something I think Europeans have been dealing with for  a long time due to lack of space. There is so much demand for cremations that Plymouth has built a crematorium, and Blue Hills Cemetery has gotten permission to build one. 

That's about it for the update for now.