Who uses it: Farmers and gardeners
What it means: A geographic classification according to the average lowest annual temperature. Growers use it to decide what sorts of plants can survive in a particular region.
How you can use it: To explain Maine summers.
We got about four hours of sun yesterday afternoon, thank God, and the world has exploded into bloom. Because Maine's growing season is so short -- here in Gardiner we are Zone 4B, with an average annual low temperature of between -20F and -25F -- everything blooms at once, instead of being spread out over weeks or months as it would be in more temperate climates. Lilacs and honeysuckle were blooming together a week or so ago, and now the buttercups, daisies, dandelions and clover are all fighting each other for lawn space. Irises and poppies bloom side-by-side, and trees have buds, flowers and leaves simultaneously.
Dizzy and I saw a great blue heron over the Cobbosseecontee this morning, and it looks like some beavers are building a lodge on the far side of the stream. Mosquitoes are the size of houseflies, and I'm pretty sure that's poison ivy growing along Water Street, across from the pub.
I meant to go down to the Portland Public Library today, to see Jane Cleland talk about her first novel, Consigned to Death -- but I have two overdue coverage reports, a screenplay proofread and a manuscript copy edit to do, and something has to give. I feel bad about missing Jane's talk, but if you're in the Portland area at noon today, you should go. Give her my regrets.
First five songs on the iPod Shuffle this morning:
"We'll Be Together Again," Frank Sinatra. Anyone who cannot appreciate this album (Songs for Swinging Lovers) -- especially outdoors on a summer evening, with a glass of wine in hand -- is someone I don't want to hang out with.
"We Can Work It Out," The Beatles. Paul McCartney is single again. Hmm...
"Why Wasn't I More Grateful," Maria McKee. Every one of Maria McKee's albums is different from the other. This one (You Gotta Sin to Get Saved) is gospel-tinged, and a great break-up record.
"Nobody Girl," Ryan Adams. Too depressing for a cloudy day. Next.
"As Time Goes By," Jimmy Durante. More great cocktail music. Is 11:15 too early...?