Monday May 28 was a record-breaking day for heat where I live in southern Ontario. The temperature reached 31.9 with an even higher humidex rate… the lowest recorded temperature for the same date was 1.9 in 1966.
Our lives and livelihoods depend on climate predictability, and weather aberrations create enormous difficulties. This year an unprecedented spring heat wave brought the fruit trees into bloom early, and then the blossoms were frozen in an overnight cold snap.
A catastrophic freeze has wiped out about 80 per cent of Ontario’s apple crop and has the province’s fruit industry looking at losses already estimated at more than $100 million.
“This is the worst disaster fruit growers have ever, ever experienced… we’ve been here for generations and I’ve never heard of this happening before across the province. This is unheard of where all fruit-growing areas in basically the Great Lakes area, in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York State, Ontario, are all basically wiped out. It’s unheard of.”
Wright lost hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of apples and peaches Sunday morning when freezing temperatures killed the blossoms. Warm temperatures got fruit trees blooming early and when temperatures plummeted Sunday morning it damaged or wiped out much of the $60 million apple crop and 20 to 30 per cent of Ontario’s $48 million tender fruit crop which includes peaches, cherries, pears, plums and nectarines.
Now we have had very little rain for a month. The thunder-storm advisory for to-day was a false alarm… we got a brief drizzle, not enough to open the umbrella. So it looks as though we may be in for a long hot summer.
When the heat and humidity are overwhelming, I plan to dim the computer room by closing the blinds, pour myself a tall cold drink, turn the fan on full blast, and watch this video by Vangelis from the (1983) album called Antarctica. Don’t bother to remind me that polar bears do not live in Antarctica. I don’t care. They are so cool… in both senses of the word… and I enjoy watching them.
Depending on your memory and musical tastes you may not recognize the name Vangelis, but you will probably recognize his highly distinctive sound. Check the links, Wikipedia here, and a fan website here, to satisfy your curiosity.
I am so glad that the music is on YouTube and that I have very good speakers for the computer. Our old vinyl LP’s are quite worn out, and we have not bought the re-releases on CD’s to replace our Vangelis albums. I think I should hurry before that technology also becomes obsolete!
Now I am going to go and eat an apple. It has been held in temperature controlled storage since last fall, and is a pale imitation of a fresh-picked apple, but I will appreciate it none the less. Our Ontario apples are among the best in the world, and we love our pies and apple crisp, and cider whether cold or mulled. This is not going to be easy.