When you see Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) flowering and pussy willow buds opening in November, you know climate change is affecting life in your own back yard. How do late-blooming flowers in the fall as well as increasingly early flowering in the spring affect our ecosystem?
For one, think about the timing involved when it comes to pollination. Insects have synchronized their pollination activity to take place when their sources of pollen and nectar are available. Climate change may increase the chance of plants and pollinators becoming out of sync, with plants using up energy flowering in the fall after pollinators have disappeared, and flowering too early in the year for the insects that pollinate them. And then there are the migrating insect-eating songbirds whose return is coordinated with the presence of food on their breeding grounds…It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects us all indirectly. – Martin Luther King, Jr.