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Everything Affects Everything

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.

11 responses

  1. Debra Kraemer

    Here’s a photo of a local in Cambridge MA yesterday. Not good!

    Sent from my iPhone


    November 11, 2022 at 8:53 am

  2. Alan Keitt

    Mary, Thank you – had not seen the quote by MLKjr. Perfect. We went through a late tropical storm yesterday. Also a warning of warming.
    Best to you in your new habitat Alan K

    November 11, 2022 at 8:56 am

  3. Thank you for this. I believe it affects humans, too, at least those of us who are accustomed to tha particular climate and seasonal shift. Nearly all my friends here in Vermont are abnormally tired. I think we, too, need the cold and calm of winter.

    November 11, 2022 at 9:47 am

  4. Alice

    Excellent quote from MLK. So true. On a dwarf weeping pussy willow, I noticed a branch with ‘pussys’ yesterday. There is a lot ‘off track’ in nature.

    November 11, 2022 at 9:53 am

    • Alice

      My Blue Princess Holly has been blooming for a while…honeybees love it.

      November 11, 2022 at 11:05 am

      • Alice

        & 73° today, just south of Boston…very absurd weather (although greatly enjoyed!)

        November 11, 2022 at 4:32 pm

  5. Lou Leet

    Thank you for posting this.

    November 11, 2022 at 10:44 am

  6. Rita Pitkin

    So true Mary. This fall has been beautiful but very scary. Thank you for posting this.

    November 11, 2022 at 1:58 pm

  7. Bunny Goodwin

    Thank you for posting this Mary. It is good to be reminded that we are all connected… humans, plants, animals, insects, etc.

    November 11, 2022 at 2:06 pm

  8. Earth is currently experiencing relative climatic stability compared to most of the Pleistocene. All these species survived much more drastic climatic fluctuations during Ice Ages than what is occurring now. No need to be unnecessarily alarmist.

    November 12, 2022 at 9:47 am

  9. Herb Robert was blooming on Isle au Haut when I left. And some shrubs were leafing out, after the long summer drought, when many leaves had died. Drought and crazy-warm autumn. Yes, we are all a part of the changing climate.

    November 12, 2022 at 10:15 am

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