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. This is one of the interesting facts that you’ll read about in Amy Seidl’s book, Early Spring, a hot-off-the-press essay about the impacts of climate change on the world immediately around us – the forest, the birds, the butterflies in our backyards.
An well-written review of an intriguing book that takes seriously the changes to the climate visible to all of us, and not just the observations or theories of the scientific community: “listen to the farmers and gardeners, and the observations of regular people: they are meaningful.”
The book is Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World, by Amy Seidl.