Northern Shade Gardening

Mr. Arctic Air Mass Takes a Vacation

Friday, January 16, 2009 Category: General

We wanted to have a Hottest January 15 Ever Party here in Alberta, but it was  a little hard with Mr. Arctic Air Mass hanging around all the time. He tends to bring the mood of the party down, running around knocking people’s hats off, and pinching their ears and noses. We all chipped in to send Mr. Arctic Air Mass on a winter vacation, taking a tour of the south.

Like the other snowbirds, he packed his bathing suit and shorts, and headed south of the Canadian border to have some fun. He volunteered to bring the party ice. We hope you are showing him some Southern hospitality. We understand he’s applying for a green card now.  Our border guards have strict instructions not to let him back into Alberta.

Woohoo, we made it up to 4° C (39° F), not quite the 7° C (44° F) record high that was predicted, but still a pretty good party. We’re planning to extend the party, so could you keep him busy a little longer? Excuse me while I check out the palm section of the garden catalogue.

22 Responses to “Mr. Arctic Air Mass Takes a Vacation” »

  1. Jen :
    January 16, 2009 at 8:34 am

    We are currently entertaining his cousin, MR. Fog. And frankly he is not a good guest. Any ideas on how to get Mr. Fog to pack his bags, and leave us?
    I hope to be able to see past my arm today. LOL.

  2. ChrisND :
    January 16, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Wow, shorts and t-shirts for you yesterday! Is that why we’ve had lows at -30° F the past few days? I think Mr. Arctic Air Mass forgot some paperwork…so starting tomorrow we’ll have a heat wave – though not above freezing yet.

    It’d be nice to stop him at the border sometimes, but I think he has permanent multiple citizenship ;-)

  3. Grace Peterson :
    January 16, 2009 at 10:22 am

    I’m like Jen, forced under the canopy of Mr. Fog. It’s good I suppose in that we don’t have any wind, which I despise, or frigid temperatures which I also despise. But after a week, Mr. Fog has worn out his welcome. But who’s complaining? (Me.) Mr. Fog beats Mr. Arctic Air Mass hands down. Mr. AAM had the audacity to blow in during Christmas. How brazen.

  4. Marnie :
    January 16, 2009 at 10:52 am

    He’s on his way out of here and I’m not sorry to see the back of him;) We tied a record low of -24F last night. Warmer temps and more snow for us tomorrow.
    Marnie

  5. Gail :
    January 16, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    We have nothing like folks a bit north of us but 4 degree was more than enough for Tennessee! We wish he would leave now! As it is he will be heading home tomorrow! Keep warm up there! gail

  6. Northern Shade :
    January 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Jen, I imagine that the fog causes a few traffic problems, too, plus it probably makes it harder for picture taking.

    Chris, he’s claiming dual citizenship.

    Grace, the little scamp is definitely a party crasher.

    Marnie, you can always recognize him, because like the other tourists, he has pasty white legs.

    Gail, now I’ll have to put off ordering those palm trees.

  7. teza :
    January 16, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    It was still -13 today but up from the -20 yeaterday so its at least going in the right direction. Of course Mr Arctic Air Mass has given me the perfect opportunity to sit and blog instead of shovelling snow as I think it is honestly too cold to snow…. thanks for faving my blog.

  8. Northern Shade :
    January 16, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Teza, reading and writing about gardening are good pursuits when it’s too cold to even go out and examine the twigs. Making lists of plants is a great January activity, and your lists seem to be getting longer. I’ve been looking through them for ones that won’t whine about a zone 3 winter.

  9. Jared :
    January 16, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Aha! So we have you to thank for our cold snap, Miss Alberta! I think my newfound zone 5-ness has dipped to a 4 this week, thanks to you warm-winter revelers. I promise I won’t hold a grudge, though.

  10. Northern Shade :
    January 16, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Jared, that frisky troublemaker does not respect garden zones. With luck, the snow cover should help insulate your plants. I think the fallen tree leaf cover in my garden helps with insulating too. I’ve been getting away with planting some zone 4 plants, so I planted a few this fall that might be zone 5. Perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised next spring.

  11. Sowing The Seeds :
    January 17, 2009 at 4:02 am

    Well I really wouldnt mind if he wanted to pop over here for a short visit. Would be a refreshing change from our current party animal, Mr Sizzle’n’Sweat.

  12. Northern Shade :
    January 17, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Sowing The Seeds, you would probably want his cousin, Mr. Antarctic Air Mass. The extreme heat must be compounding the long term drought conditions. Those grasses are looking better and better for gardens.

  13. Anna :
    January 18, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Thanks for your recent welcome message. I have really enjoyed having a browse here. I think that Mr. Arctic Air Mass or his cousin has visited the UK too this winter. It’s not as cold as it must have been for a lot of folk over the pond but we have had our coldest start to winter for thirty years. Brrrrrrrrr ……

  14. Northern Shade :
    January 18, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Anna, those kind of winters are especially difficult if you are trying to grow perennials from a zone or two warmer.
    Our normally cold winter took a break for the last few days, and we set records for the hottest January 16 and 17 ever. We are likely to get a few more record setting days. Luckily we still have some snow cover, because the repeated freeze/thaw cycle is particularly hard on perennials. I’ll probably have to dig a few plants back in, come spring, that have got pushed out of the ground.
    In the meantime, I’ll have to go find my suntan lotion. :)

  15. Pam :
    January 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    As Anna, above, says we’ve had a pretty cold start to our winter, and yet; and yet. I still hold onto the hope that spring is so very near, and one day very soon I’ll be out gardening and suddenly feel the heat of the sun on my back – only for a moment, but definitely there. Mmmm. Wonder what my favourite season would be?

  16. Northern Shade :
    January 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Pam, today as our temperatures rose, and a little patch of bare earth was visible at the corner of the house, I detected the faint scent of warm earth and spring, but our real spring won’t arrive for another 3 months. In my mind though, I could picture the green sprouts emerging from the ground, and the buds swelling.

  17. Frances :
    January 19, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Hi Shade, so that’s what happened! While we can understand that you have had your fill of this mister, he doesn’t have good southern manners and overstayed his welcome here. You know what they say, fish and houseguests beging to smell after three days. Well, his three days are up and we are giving him the boot. Maybe he should go out to sea and stir up a little trouble there, far away from folks! :-)
    Frances

  18. Northern Shade :
    January 19, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Frances, we have had some record setting warm weather, but we knew he would get up to his old shenanigans. It’s a good thing his pasty white legs didn’t leave any snowy footprints in your garden. I hope he didn’t pinch you, or your plants, too hard.

  19. Shady Gardener :
    January 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    We’ve had a visit from Mr. Warm Air Mass this week… I’m unwilling to let him go, as yet! ;-) Have a great party!!!

  20. Northern Shade :
    January 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Shady Gardener, although we have broken some high temperature records, tomorrow we are supposed to be back to -30 C (-20 F) with the windchill, so I might have to put away the shorts. :) All good parties come to an end.

  21. Renate :
    January 25, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    We’ve finally gotten a little bit of rain down here at the central California Coast. Still not enough by a far cry… I find it interesting how much more I appreciate the weather now that I’m growing things. Can’t imagine being, say, a farmer and have my livelihood depend on the weather which is so unpredictable.

  22. Northern Shade :
    January 26, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Renate, I hope you mice will get enough moisture to last for the summer. Although I haven’t had to worry much about drought, I do wonder which plants will succumb to the cold over winter. However, every time we get an extra cold day, I know it helps kill off the pine beetles.

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