Home | News | Contact Us | Subscribe | Advertise | Classifieds
Subscription Home The Times of Noblesville, IN | Noblesville, in

Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE

Home

News
Sports
• Local Sports
Obituaries
Opinion Page
Columnists
E-Edition
Photo Galleries
Calendar
Traffic Cams
Community
Classifieds
Notices
Closings
Life
Extras
Webcasts
Links
The Times Video
Police Blotter
Faith
Puzzles
Marriage licenses
Newspapers In Education
2017 Readers' Choice


J. David McChesney
1up!
Expertise: Web Site Marketing
1up!




home : sports : local sports April 26, 2017


3/10/2017
Whence the Wild Weather
The Times photo by Brent T. WheatSeveral daffodils in the authorís yard that blooming three or four weeks ahead of schedule.
The Times photo by Brent T. Wheat

Several daffodils in the authorís yard that blooming three or four weeks ahead of schedule.

By Brent T. Wheat


What is one of the fastest ways for an outdoor column to get ensnared in political debate? The answer is: whenever you talk about the weather, more specifically climate change. In fact I've found this to be even more controversial than discussing cats.

I wanted to make that point out of the gate because in this day and age, people across the political spectrum get their panties in a major wad over something that just a few years ago was primarily a matter of scientific measurement and computer modeling, liberally seasoned with arcane folk predictions.

Let's just say this: whatever your personal position on climate change, I completely agree with your concerns.

But, quite frankly, I don't care to hear them.

Anyway, the topic at hand is our incredibly early spring and its implications on the outdoor world where we hunt, fish and conduct other sporting business.

It's been crazy. Two weeks ago while at the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, I had several people show me pictures of nice fish they caught during the 70-degree days of February and there was even one semi-credible report of a morel mushroom being found in Pike County.

It's not so much that our temperatures reached those summer-like levels, because that happens nearly every year. I remember a couple of years ago when I was sitting on the patio in shorts, a t-shirt and no shoes in mid-March when the 7 p.m. temperature was still 82 degrees.

However, within two weeks things were back to normal and though that following summer was drier and hotter than average, the overall seasonal changes were pretty typical. That's doesn't appear to be the case this year.

According to United States Geological Survey (USGS) Remote Sensing Phrenology program that measures such things, spring is officially running about two or three weeks early. If things keep going at their present rate, I'd wager it's going to end up even earlier.

According to their scientific research, the "green line" of sprouting vegetation has reached the Ohio River. We'll conduct personal research on that claim next week, but I will say that over a week ago I noticed several local willow trees that actually had small green leaves sprouted. Currently, we have daffodils and crocus flowers dotting our yard.

It's crazy, but is this climate change? Probably, even though we must point out that wild extremes are a hallmark of...wait for it...the weather. We also agree that these changes are possibly man-made but before we start all start defending our political positions on the subject, I would like to remind folks that in the 1960's we were concerned about being dead by the year 2000 because of "Global Cooling."

It seems kind of silly now but many scientists and "experts" were highly convinced we'd be playing ice hockey in July at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I'd just like to point out that in spite of our "knowing," weather and climate change continually so the best bet is to just take things as they come.

Regardless, certain trends are likely in regards to our upcoming outdoor season. It will likely stay warmer than normal, ushering in a fast, early spring while the summer is shaping up to be hot and dry. Again, nothing is guaranteed but a smart person should consider the impact of these predictions on their favorite activities.

That's why I'm keeping the fishing gear close at hand for quick deployment, planning on an early but shorter paddling season, an equally poor mushroom season and a hot summer with low water and slow fishing. I'm also not planning any camping or hiking in July and August, but then again, I try to avoid that anyway.

One big concern is the effect of this weather on plants. Based upon my college training in botany (one of the few things that actually 'took') native plants will be fine. If you notice, most vegetation that is native to our area is still quite dormant because it evolved to survive such weather extremes. Even a killer frost that blackens those early leaves or completely wipes out the blooms isn't too detrimental to indigenous plants. In fact, most can survive three such episodes without long-lasting harm.

Our native animals also evolved to deal with hot and cold or wetness and drought. For example, even though the creeks might be very low in mid-summer, the chances of harming the fishery are pretty slim. Actually, a bigger factor for many stream fish is a wet spring that wipes out nests due to high water.

In other words, enjoy the warm weather and early fishing, get ready for a hot summer and remember the one certain that I can guarantee about climate: if you don't like the weather now, just wait around for five minutes.

It will change.

Brent T. Wheat is an award-winning columnist, and publisher of WildIndiana.com. His column appears weekly in The Times.





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to send us your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   



Advanced Search



ExtrasWebcasts
Home | News | Contact Us | Subscribe | Advertise | Classifieds

© 2017
The Times
a division of Sagamore News Media
920 S. Logan St, Suite 101 Noblesville, IN 46060
(317) 770-7777


Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved