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The Mast-Head: Not Yet Rake Time

Wed, 11/08/2023 - 17:38

Coming down Dayton Lane on Wednesday on my way to the office, I noticed that there were very few piles of leaves along the roadside and that most of the trees overhead were still in their cloaks of green. Only about a month remains in the village’s leaf-pickup program, and at this rate there will still be nothing much to suck up in the giant, rolling vacuums before the equipment is supposed to be put away after the first week of December.

Hard freezes seem to be coming later these days. Richard Hendrickson, who kept close track of the weather and climate from Bridgehampton for many years, recorded the first 32-degree or lower dates each fall. From 1974 to 1994, these came in October every year except for instances in 1975, 1977, and 1979. These days, the federal government says, Bonackers will not feel the first killing freeze until mid-November. The feds’ observations look to match the forecast. The low over the weekend, early Sunday morning, is a predicted 34 degrees.

It’s been mild enough so far this fall that most of the dahlias in my garden are still in bloom. A nasturtium has reseeded itself and has a few flowers. The ruby French marigolds are going strong, for the most part, at least where I have kept up with the watering.

The National Weather Service tells us that a strengthening El Niño weather pattern will keep the Northeast warmer than usual with perhaps a bit more rain. Elsewhere, it will be wetter than average in portions of the West, the Southeast, the Gulf Coast, and the lower Mid-Atlantic. Drier-than-average conditions are expected in the northern Rockies and High Plains and near the Great Lakes.

Here, if the leaves refuse to fall on schedule, I wonder if the village will decide to extend the pickup season. Or maybe it should just let them dry up and blow away, which I prefer anyway.


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