Marisca Bakker

Looking for the silver lining in the clouds

Marisca tries to find joy in the rain and dismal start to spring 2022

Spring is my favourite season. I get so excited about emerging tulips and the warm sun on my face.

I start planning my vegetable garden and admire the buds on the trees. The baby deer start to wander through my yard and the hummingbirds make a return. The whole season fills me with optimism. However, this spring has been tough.

Last month was cold and rainy. The month of April saw 27 mm of rainfall and the average mean temperature was only 2.4 degrees.

Compare that to April 2021 when Smithers saw an average mean temperature at five degrees and only 5.4 mm of rain fell.

Last week snow fell. Mid-May saw snow. My daffodils started to sprout and then gave up and died.

It is easy to get bogged down. Spring is supposed to bring hope and rejuvenation and this past April and beginning of May has felt dark and draining.

The other day my girls stepped outside, saw the rain pounding down and were so excited about puddle jumping and worm hunting. We have so much to learn from children. I started thinking that I should also find the joy in the rain, or at least look for some upsides to a slow start to summer.

I have some family members who farm back out east and when they had an unexpected snowfall recently, one farmer posted on Facebook how excited he was for it.

He explained that snow and rain gather nitrogen and particles such as sulphur from the atmosphere as they fall.

“It is thought that they can contribute up to 12 lbs per acre of nitrogen to the soil each year,” he wrote. “The snow not only insulates my crops from the freezing temperatures but it also releases its nitrogen slowly as it melts (unlike rain). Even at cold temperatures plants and nitrogen-fixing microbes can take up this precious nutrient. The best part is that it’s absolutely free! That’s good news when fertilizer prices are through the roof! My fields will be vibrant and lush in no time.”

READ MORE: Hummingbirds prove to bring joy

The wet rainy weather is also contributing to a slower start to the wildfire season.

The 2021 wildfire season in B.C. was the third-worst on record in terms of area burned. That season peaked much earlier than normal. There was already an evacuation alert by mid-April in Merritt.

This year, the cooler temperatures and high amounts of precipitation have snuffed out the early wildfire season activity.

With the long weekend coming up, it doesn’t appear that we will have a campfire ban.

So it might be cold and rainy but at least we can have a fire, along with some s’mores to warm us up.


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