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.