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What seasons does your homestead have?

 
master steward
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We all know the classic seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall - isn't there a song about that.... and something about "calling"?

However, I was having my day interrupted with an emergency cleaning job, when I realized, my homestead has 6 seasons, not 4.

1. Winter,
2. Early spring,
3. Yellow Pollen season,
4. Late spring,
5. Summer (if we're lucky enough to get it), and
6. Fall

I'm betting you might have guessed that the emergency cleaning job involved cleaning yellow pollen up? After sitting only 4 days, the car windows were so covered that it wouldn't have been safe to drive.

So is there something Mother Nature throws at your homestead every year at the same time that deserves it's own "season"? I think those in Northern Ontario, might decide that black-flies qualify! Or are there certain butterflies that suddenly arrive in a bunch?

In a sense, naming a "season" is practising the permaculture principle of observing.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 2086
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Here in Hawaii we also have the standard winter/spring/summer/fall seasons, though tourists don’t notice the difference, but the plants surely do and respond to the seasons. Where I’m located, we also have the late fall rain season….though it has been somewhat skewed due to climate change.  We have a season where trade winds are predominant , followed by a season  when Kona winds are more likely. And January seems to be the season for a quick but nasty windstorm. Our hurricane season aligns pretty much with the mainland’s. And of course….there’s tourist season!
 
master steward
Posts: 6549
Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland. Nearly 70 inches rain a year
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Hi Jay - That definitely strikes a chord with me! Lets see....
I think we have two main seasons - the cold wet season and the warm wet season - midge season! Midge season starts in mid June and lasts through to late September.
There are very short variable seasons too - there can be a windy season over mid winter, although that surprisingly has been better these last few years. Most years we get a short dry season from the start of March till late June, often interrupted by lambing snow! It can be as short as two weeks though one year it was about 16 weeks without rain, and another year we had 18 months where it rained at some point during each 24 hour period. That was tedious when we wanted dry wood to run the stove
 
gardener
Posts: 1523
Location: Central Maine (Zone 5a)
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Hi Jay,
Here in Maine we have 5 seasons - Summer, Fall, Winter, mud season, Spring.

Although some people might call spring "black fly season".
 
pollinator
Posts: 1609
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand (Cfb - oceanic temperate)
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Seasons are a funny thing here and we've already seen them shift a lot in just under twenty years at this place. They go sort of like this:

August: Early spring (plum trees and daffodils flowering).
September-October: "Real" spring, very erratic and the wettest time of year.
November: Late spring. Can dry out some years, in others spring keeps sort of lurching well into December.

December: Early summer, getting warm but still lots of storms coming through. Hay weather arrives around Xmas.
January: High summer, about as warm as it gets, and rain usually tapers off.
February-March: Late summer, not as warm but it's our typical "drought" time unless it's a La Niña year and then it can be crazy wet.

Late March-April: Autumn. Still pretty settled but rains are coming back, with sunny warm stretches in between.
May: Late autumn. Last of the apples, still lots of feijoas. Finally cooling down, maybe even frost.

June: Autumn slides into winter. Cool and wet, with about 2-3 sunny days in an average week if we're lucky.
July: Winter. Still some sunny days (about one out of three on average).

But nothing is predictable and I just saw that the forecast for the coming week could see us reaching summer-like highs on a couple of days.
 
Phil Stevens
pollinator
Posts: 1609
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand (Cfb - oceanic temperate)
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I'm still nostalgic for the six seasons of the Sonoran Desert:

Autumn, Winter, Spring
Little Summer
Big Summer*
Final Summer

*Some of us used to subdivide Big Summer into two parts: the blast furnace heat of June and the monsoon humidity plus thunderstorms of July and August. So that makes seven.
 
master gardener
Posts: 2991
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
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I have just the thing for this...

(Source)
NYSeasons.png
fun chart of seasons in New York
 
steward
Posts: 14956
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Summer, don't ask me why ... though right night I could say wildflowers.
 
gardener
Posts: 1883
Location: Finland (zone 5)
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Timothy Norton wrote:I have just the thing for this...



Oh yes, this looks like something we have in Finland too! Just this week we moved from the Spring of Deception to the Third Winter. I hope we get through it soon, I'm so done with the snow already!
 
master steward
Posts: 6497
Location: southern Illinois, USA
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In Northern MN:

Cold Winter ( as in -40 to -50F)
Snow Winter
Mud season
Spring
Mosquito/Deer Fly Season
Fall
Snow Fall

In southern Illinois:

Winter (as in its 32 F, get all the animals inside)
Spring
Summer
Air You Can Wear
Fall


 
Nancy Reading
master steward
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John F Dean wrote:Air You Can Wear



Oh please, explain that - humidity?
 
Posts: 32
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Usually the standard 4, and some years just 2 : Wet & Dry
 
rocket scientist
Posts: 5918
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Well in Montana, we have Winter, Mud season, Road Construction season, and hunting season, which starts as mud and quickly turns into ice and snow.
 
gardener
Posts: 334
Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
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Here in inland San Diego we have the cold and wet season, the warm season and the fire/hot as hell season. Some call the cold season winter, but since we rarely get more than 2 months of occasional frost you can hardly call it winter. This also means that we grow food all year round. I think the only plants that follows the seasons somewhat are some of the fruit trees, but we are still able to pick fresh fruit all year round.
Berries is a warm and hot season only food though. We do cheat and cover parts of our garden in shade cloth during the hot season. Otherwise everything dies down in August.
 
master gardener
Posts: 2320
Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
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John's post above resonates strongly. I grew up in St. Louis which is pretty close to where he lives now. And I settled in Northern Minnesota to get away from the "air you can wear" heat+humidity.

This year has been weird, but normally it goes from 1 Jan, like this (with lots of overlap and shifting back and forth at the margins):
- cold as hell with deep snow
- wet gloopy snow
- mud and wet basements (even living on fifty feet of glacial till, it's muddy because the ground is frozen but the snow is melting)
- ticks (this is the most pleasant and vernal season)
- mosquitos
- those two too-hot days
- deer flies
- surprise early frost
- autumn
- a little snow
- the cold sets in
- more snow
- back to cold as hell with deep snow
 
John F Dean
master steward
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Hi Nancy,

Air that is so humid you feel like you are suffocating as you breath it.  I go through around 4 changes of clothes a day when working outside. Actually, while it gets bad here around July 4, it is even worse south of Jackson, Mississippi.
 
gardener
Posts: 3050
Location: Western Slope Colorado.
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Our special-est season here is wind, we get wind in the spring that blows dirt off the dry desert soil.  It lasts off and on for a few weeks, intermittent with spring snow and rain.  We get a monsoon in late summer, about August.  We do have road construction season, which coincides with summer .  We have hunting season.  We have tourists seasons in winter for skiing, in summer for hiking and camping, and wild flowers in spring in the desert, in summer in alpine regions… and fall color.
I’m too lazy to try to put them in order.😄. There’s always something good… except the wind is pretty rough.  It gets in your eyes and hair and clothes… sometimes when the rain mixes with dust, it’s raining mud!
 
gardener
Posts: 788
Location: South Carolina
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"Air you can wear" made me laugh! It's an apt description of the humidity.

We have:
Winter
Spring, even though the calendar claims it's winter
False summer
The rest of spring
The real summer
Fall

A post has been circulating social media that says, "If it gets cold one more time, I'm putting my Christmas tree back up." Yet the weather does it to us every year. It gets to 80F degrees  for a bit in February and then temps get below freezing again n March.
 
gardener
Posts: 1208
Location: Tennessee
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Matt McSpadden wrote:Hi Jay,
Here in Maine we have 5 seasons - Summer, Fall, Winter, mud season, Spring.

Although some people might call spring "black fly season".



I remember that from when I briefly lived there.

This Spring biting flies of some kind seem to be visiting us here in Tennessee.
 
pollinator
Posts: 105
Location: The soggy side of Washington
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Here, starting in February, I have kidding season! This is my favorite season! Shortly after kidding season comes frolic season. Then pasture rotation season.  Then dry, hot, dead grass season. Then chilly wet season with occasional hot days. The rainy season begins somewhere around late Sept. to mid Oct.  Also in here is breeding season (goats). Shortly after rainy season begins is mud season, seasonal affective disorder season, depressed as hell season, holidaze season, Broken promises season (new years resolutions), 'I can't take anymore of this dark' season, and then slowly ramping back up to kidding season. And in between all that madness is planting/weeding/crying/replanting/harvesting season.
 
pollinator
Posts: 103
Location: Schofields, NSW. Australia. Zone 9-11 Temperate to Sub Tropical
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In Australia the Aboriginal people identify 7 different seasons which I have found to be more accurate than the standard 4 accepted. Each told what foods and where water was available
Biderap, Dry Season (Jan-Feb)
Iuk, Eel Season (March)
Waring, Wombat Season (April-July)
Guling, Orchid Season (Aug)
Poorneet, Tadpole Season (Sept-Oct)
Buarth Gurru, Grass Flowering Season (Nov)
Garrawang, Kangaroo-Apple Season (Dec)

I notice that many others on here identify in the same way they do, that is by watching changes in flora and fauna which is how permies see seasons.

Those of you who are closer to the natural rhythms of the earth and more grounded than city people have already said how lingering last snow, kidding, lambing, egg laying, first shoots of plants etc, tell them exactly where they are regarding their particular seasons in their own areas of the world.

Here in OZ we are experiencing an extended summer intermingled with autumn weather and some very confused plants, animals, and especially birds are in places they haven't been seen before.

Lucky can all come here for advice, community and common sense from other permies to rely on to help us through some of the dilemmas the climate is throwing at us in so many places around the globe.

I think this thread is great for bringing it home to all of us that seasons aren't set in 4 but in what our surroundings dictate. Some of your answers are priceless when it comes to describing your realities, I smiled through your answers and can't wait to read more
 
pollinator
Posts: 131
Location: Near Asheville North Carolina
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What a GREAT thread everyone!
Loving how everyone sees/feels the shifts of nature differently.
Now that we’re in western NC I definitely resonate with those who equate seasons with the nasty bugs that come out!
Ladybug season
Stink bug season
Ant season
Gnat season
Japanese beetle season
Squash borer season
But ironically we hardly have any mosquitoes like we had up north in NY!!!
🐞🐜🦗🪰🪲🕷🦟
 
Posts: 105
Location: Southern Manitoba...bald(ish) prairie, zone 2b/3
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Being north of northern MN, a couple of these posts are pretty much bang on.

Many winters we get a frigid season (I enjoy it...fewer people out interfering with my walk)
Tick and mosquito seasons can be frustrating...I'm not aware of ticks being out yet, but I was at the acreage today so should probably check, just to be sure.
City folk will identify with construction season.

Migratory birds are a big part of my seasons.  This morning I confirmed that wood ducks are back...they are so pretty.  Canada geese have been around for a while - it's always a harbinger of spring to me when I first hear them.  I saw tundra swans flying overhead this past week - they won't be sticking around.  Today I saw red-winged blackbirds are back, I heard a western meadowlark, and heard killdeer as well.  Exciting stuff.  I'm not absolutely sure on the ID, but I think I saw a fox sparrow today, which would also be passing through.  In the fall I'm more likely to catch snow geese on their migration.

Of course, there's planting season, weeding season (potentially), and harvest season which overlaps with preserving season.
 
Nancy Reading
master steward
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Looks like midge season has started early this year! Ow! Ow! It is overcast  Quite mild and we have had rain last night. There is no wind, which is pretty unusual.
This is what midge hell looks like here:
midge-hell.jpeg
Midge season on The Isle of Skye
Midge season on The Isle of Skye
 
master steward
Posts: 7934
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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In the Chicago suburbs, we had 2 seasons: Winter & Road Construction
In southeastern Michigan, we had 2 seasons: Winter & Mosquito
In the Missouri Ozarks, we have a bunch of seasons, and there are overlaps galore: Winter, Tropics, Tick, Tourist, Desert, Drought, & Humidity-Drowning, Pollen, Mudslide & Wild Blackberry
 
pollinator
Posts: 2442
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Christopher Weeks wrote:.....

This year has been weird, but normally it goes from 1 Jan, like this (with lots of overlap and shifting back and forth at the margins):
- cold as hell with deep snow
- wet gloopy snow
- mud and wet basements (even living on fifty feet of glacial till, it's muddy because the ground is frozen but the snow is melting)
- ticks (this is the most pleasant and vernal season)
- mosquitos
- those two too-hot days
- deer flies
- surprise early frost
- autumn
- a little snow
- the cold sets in
- more snow
- back to cold as hell with deep snow



Yeah, the strange unusually warm winter gave spring a twist this year.  I won't comment on the entire year nor whine about today's tornado warning which would make those to the south roll their eyes in disbelief that the sirens were activated....for "potential" rotation on the radar.  I feel for all who have endured the devastation of tornadoes this season.

But a brief version of recent seasonal...'adjustments':

1)  Looks like some grass is showing through the snow...

2)  Ah the first tick tickle under my trousers.....

3)  Tornado warning today,.....but stock the wood bin for...

4)  .....the frost warning tonight!

5)  (To wife)...."Late stage chickenpox?"  (wife) "Black flies are back..."

6)  Glad to have diked that garden against the rising river,....but it's holding *in* too much water now after overland flooding from the other side.

7)  Wow....the mosquitos really hone in on that nightlight in the bathroom!....

8)  Buzzzzzzz...thwap!   Buzzzzzzzzz....thwap!  [Junebugs really need to stick to their namesake month.....]

9)  Sore 'sigh'.... "All of the chard planted for the year....Wait....what are all of those volunteers coming up?!.."
(....first time in 30 years that chard/seed survived the winter here.)
 
gardener
Posts: 3615
Location: Colombia - Tropical dry forest
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Where Im at it goes like

1. dry and hot
2. mild rainy and comfy for the most part
3. extreme dry and hot or pls help us baby Jesus  
4. maybe we should build a canoe to float it out?

repeat :)
 
gardener
Posts: 5273
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From Southern Illinois,

Jan, Feb—Mild winter, might snow

March—Will it ever stop raining, floods

April-June?—Beautiful Spring!!  Trees bloom, Grass is emerald green, mild rain. Start garden.  Almost Perfect!!

July-Aug—Will it ever rain again?  Very hot, VERY humid!! But no rain.

September—Maybe late drought.  Still warm

Oct-Nov.  Beautiful fall leaves!!  Cooler.  Humidity drops.  Maybe Fall rain, floods.  Fall in the Shawnee Forest is the prototypical picture for Southern Illinois.  Beautiful!!

December—Cycle starts over again.


Eric
 
Jay Angler
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Eric Hanson wrote: July-Aug—Will it ever rain again?  Very hot, VERY humid!! But no rain.  


If only we could figure out a permie way to capture "humidity"?
 
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