This beautiful spring day seems an appropriate occasion to think about the changing of the seasons. That’s coming earlier and earlier these days.
Did you know that in 1965 the U.S. Department of Agriculture planted a particular variety of lilac in more than seventy locations around the U.S. Northeast, to detect the onset of spring — in turn to be used to determine the appropriate timing of corn planting and the like? The records the USDA have kept show that those same lilacs are blooming as much as two weeks earlier than they did in 1965. April has, in a very real sense, become May.
At this rate, by 2050, the corn in the midwest will be “knee high by the Fourth of July” around Memorial Day. And it won’t be June “bustin’ out all over” — it will be May.