Microclimates in Rochester

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I took this picture of Coco about three weeks ago as the final fingers of winter were letting go of Rochester. All the people and pets in the area were venturing outside, staring around in wonder at the emerging grass and blue sky. My wife, who grew up in Tokyo (where snowfall is greeted with the same amused incomprehension as a unicycling kangaroo) has often remarked on how western New Yorkers react to spring: with the sort of instantaneous unbridled joy usually reserved for kids learning they are going to Disneyland. But on this day she was right there with us. 

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This picture was taken THAT SAME DAY in my parents’ backyard. There was no snowstorm, no sudden hail from heaven to drive us all back inside (that did happen, but later). Their house is on a hill and shaded 24/7 by an even higher ridge, all of which creates a micro climate in their backyard. It is pretty interesting, mainly to Coco who loves to jump through the snow. Micro climates are very important to this area: the Finger Lakes wineries exist because the high hills next to the deep lakes have created micro climates ideal for wine production. And anything that encourages wine production can’t be all bad. 

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