Brooding On

The Surprising Upside of Our Winter Rollercoaster

This winter's weather has truly been a rollercoaster ride.  Last month, I managed to enjoy a beautiful run on a 60-degree afternoon while dodging the lingering snow on the ground.  This month, I've forgotten what the ground looks like as it's set hidden beneath a sheet of snow and ice for nearly 2 weeks.  And, yet, the 10-day forecast predicts a 70-degree day next week.  It seems if there's anything we can predict about our weather pattern these days, it's that it's sure to be unpredictable. 

I am not a winter weather lover.  I greatly enjoy being outside, but I do not enjoy being cold while I'm there, and I have a tendency toward despondency during long stretches of frigid temperatures, ice-covered earth, and gray skies.  In looking for the silver lining last week, I decided to do a little research regarding how the hard freezing might be affecting my arch nemesis, the platoon of squash bugs over-wintering in my garden beds.  I figured if anything could pull me out of my winter-weather despair, it would be the knowledge that said weather was destroying those evil, little bugs for me. 


What I discovered surprised me.  In a good way.  It turns out that squash bugs have been around the block a time or two and have grown rather accustomed to whatever temperatures Arkansas winters can hurl at them.  But, there's something else about our exceptional winter that may be working squash-bug-murdering magic.

According to, "Overwintering insects that are repeatedly exposed to freezing and thawing are more likely to die, and those than survive typically lay fewer eggs. Up-and-down winters that are brutal one week and balmy the next are bad news for overwintering insects."

Woohoo!  Now, that's news that will continue to uplift my spirits through whatever winter may have in store for us over the next several weeks!