Spring’s Snowfall

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Springtime in Georgia is nothing to sneeze at…or rather, maybe it is good reason to sneeze!  It seems that springtime is the season of pollen!  (Actually, I’m told that it’s even worse in the late summer or early fall.)  When I say there’s pollen…I MEAN THERE IS POLLEN!  There is a coating of yellow all over the place – cars are covered with it (we washed a car yesterday and by this morning there was already a fine coating all over it again), it has come in through the open windows and coated my notebook screen and laptop table, the kitchen counters….and when we go out to walk the dog, pollen is even visible on the streets wherever the tires haven’t ground it away! (You should see the pollen on my truck which hasn’t been moved for several days now!  My truck is silver, but it looks like it is yellow – not very manly!!!)

So what’s this about “spring’s snowfall”?  Some of my relatives who live in the north actually had some snowfall this week, but we won’t have any here.  I’m not really talking about snowfall here, but about the white petals from the dogwoods that are in bloom.  They are gorgeous and all over the place.  Spring, of all times of the year, may be the best season in Georgia provided you don’t have allergies!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1935 on what came to be known as “Black Sunday,” one of the most devastating storms of the 1930’s Dust Bowl era swept across the region. High winds kicked up clouds of millions of tons of dirt and dust so dense and dark that some eyewitnesses believed the world was coming to an end.

The term “dust bowl” was reportedly coined by a reporter in the mid-1930’s and referred to the plains of western Kansas, southeastern Colorado, the panhandles of Texas andOklahoma, and northeastern New Mexico. By the early 1930s, the grassy plains of this region had been over-plowed by farmers and overgrazed by cattle and sheep. The resulting soil erosion, combined with an eight-year drought which began in 1931, created a dire situation for farmers and ranchers. Crops and businesses failed and an increasing number of dust storms made people and animals sick. Many residents fled the region in search of work in other states such as California (as chronicled in books including John Steinbeck s The Grapes of Wrath), and those who remained behind struggled to support themselves.

By the mid-1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt s administration introduced programs to help alleviate the farming crisis. Among these initiatives was the establishment of the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) in the Department of Agriculture. The SCS promoted improved farming and land management techniques and farmers were paid to utilize these safer practices. For many Dust Bowl farmers, this federal aid was their only source of income at the time.

The Dust Bowl era finally came to a close when the rains arrived and the drought ended in 1939. Although drought would continue to be an inevitable part of life in the region, improved farming techniques significantly reduced the problem of soil erosion and prevented a repeat of the 1930 s Dust Bowl devastation.

ALSO ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1865, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth and the Titanic struck an iceberg in 1912.  Not a good day in history…

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  The Norwalk virus or Norovirus (the virus that causes the stomach flu) can survive on an uncleaned carpet for a month or more.  (Now tell me – how many of you are going to vacuum your carpet after reading this?)

 

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