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Two-Thirds Right 05/04/2014

Posted by zoidion in urban agriculture, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The light outside is blinding, the sunlight bouncing off the April snow. But the air is mild, the breeze a caress.The snowmelt is running in the streets, the rain barrel is overflowing.

The social highlight of the week for me was the open house–right in the neighborhood–at Mississippi Mushrooms. I much enjoyed seeing a bit of the operation, and seeing and tasting some of the product–also feeling the excitement of being part of a small crowd of folks who are interested in and supporting the further emergence of locally produced foods.

I think I have–or imagine I do–few illusions about any complete wonderfulness of local life fed exclusively, or nearly so, by locally produced foods: I figure it involves less quantity and less variety. I’m working on changing before I absolutely have to. (I know I would miss avocados, for example. I know it’s a luxury that will before long pass away.) But I’m convinced such efforts are a good step toward a healthier way of living on the land: toward an ecotechnic future.

Part of what made that occasion enjoyable was a conversation I had with the proprietor of another local mushroom business, mostly about my own home-growing mushroom ideas and that of inoculating the soil here with soil from a presumably-healthy forest outside the cities. From the response I’ve heard from him and others, I’m hearing confirmation that it’s a good soil-building idea.

But it requires soil that has thawed.

There was so much hoopla in the local weather media about the expected Big Storm that arrived on Thursday the third that it nearly overshadowed the glorious ends of the week. In my previous post, I mentioned the warm and dry Sunday that brought herds of urban bears out of hibernation; it definitely fit in with my general forecast for the week.

Not that I had any notions that that would hold. Such things rarely happen around here in April. But I had a hard time believing all the warnings that we were about to get buried in snow again, just as the ground was starting to warm up under the Sun. I just wasn’t seeing it in the charts, which I kept going over and over.

I could see in the season chart–the Aries solar ingress–the timing of the sharp turn from warm to cold: the Sun (the day indicator) catching up to Uranus’ place in the season chart. And I could see in the week chart–the Aries New Moon–a strong indication of generally dry and somewhat warmer conditions: Mars on the lower meridian.

New Moon 2 March 2014

But I wasn’t seeing significant moisture. And yet it came: especially welcome in the Minnesota River valley, still within the drought zone.


About eight inches of snow (about three-quarters of an inch of melted moisture) fell at my place, up to a foot and more to the north and northwest. An event that I should / could have anticipated. But how?

The Venus-Moon-Saturn configuration in this season’s chart–the same combination as appeared in the September 2013 season chart (the Libra solar ingress)–foretold persistent and problematic  precipitation–how’s my alliteration?–and cold-weather patterns . . . in certain areas. (Not through this zone of longitude.) On Wednesday the second–the day the storm was organizing–Moon moved into Taurus, triggering the configuration in the season chart. It seems that was the bit of the puzzle I missed.

I’d figured that any significant precipitation would arrive around the time that Moon arrived at the ascendant of the season chart, on Sunday the fifth.

Instead, the storm was at full strength by about six p.m. on the third, when Moon was exactly ninety degrees from Neptune, which is prominent on the upper meridian of the season chart.

Let’s watch what happens when Venus arrives at Neptune’s place (and Moon opposes Neptune) on Thursday the tenth: Rather than a nuisance and a disappointment, the media are apt to have major problems to report, and major challenges in getting and conveying the story.

As for me, I may have learned something here. Let’s see if it sticks.

Meanwhile, Down Under, summer appears to be lasting longer and more intensely than wished: Melbourne swelters through record April warmth. Note that the season’s astromap shows the hot zone–where Mars is on the lower meridian–running north-south through the center of Australia.






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