Up here in Maine, we humans feel like spring has sprung. More than sprung: leaped, or vaulted, or possibly capered. Or cavorted. However, 80° F is 32° above today’s average temperature; surely, soon, the weather has to revert to the mean-ness of the typical mud season. And speaking of mud… Plants could be smarter than we are; they go by soil, not air temperature. After all, right now they’re buried in the ground!

So, I thought I’d instrument the soil. The pitch fork doesn’t sink any deeper in the squash mound than it did yesterday; four-and-a-half inches still exposed. (Maybe tomorrow I’ll revise my protocol, and measure the hidden portion of the tine!) And the soil temperature is only 40°, which is about 25° lower than squash like it.

Still, these metrics show that even if the air temperature were 30° or even 35° lower than it is, the air would still be warming the soil. Optimism!

And I still wish I could see what was coming alive in the earth, as layer after layer warms…