A Glorious Fall in Camelot

By James Hayman

As I’ve written previously in this blog, weather plays a key role in my second book, The Chill of Night, which centered around one of the most brutally cold winters any of the characters in the book had ever experienced.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be here in Maine.  At least that’s what I was told when I moved here.  But not this year. At least not so far.

Back in my distant youth, I remember seeing Richard Burton walk out on a New York stage and sing in that glorious Welsh voice of his:

A law was made a distant moon ago here, July and August cannot be too hot.
And there’s a legal limit to the snow here,
in Camelot.
The winter is forbidden till December. And exits March the second on the dot.
By order, summer lingers through September.  In Camelot.

It was one of the first Broadway shows I’d ever seen and I remember Burton and the song vividly.

The reason I mention this is that this Fall the weather laws of King Arthur’s Camelot seem to have taken hold on my island home of Peaks.

Here it is December 7th on an island off the coast of Maine and we still haven’t seen a hard frost (which the gardening guides tell us should have been expected by the end of October at the latest). The blizzard that blanketed much of the Northeast in October missed us completely.  All we got was rain. Snow is predicted for tomorrow for the Northeast corridor but again along the coast it is all supposed to be rain.  In fact, so far we’ve seen barely a single flake of snow. And yesterday, December 6th, I wandered around both the island and the city of Portland quite happily dressed in no more than jeans and a sweater as the temperatures edged toward sixty degrees.

Here on the island we all wonder if any of this delightful Fall weather can be a result of global warming.  (Of course, deep down we all know, because all of the Republican candidates for President are telling us so, that global warming is a myth, a hoax, a scam or, at the very least, unproven science).

However, assuming, as I do, that the Republican candidates are wrong on this as on most other things and that man-made climate change is the real thing, and that it will be, in the long run, a disaster both for the planet and most of its human inhabitants. Still, this Fall has thus far been delightful.  And for that I give thanks.

Yes, I know that winter and the winter snows will come.  Of that, we can be  certain.  But I do hope that this year, as Burton once sang on stage, it will have the good sense to “exit March the second on the dot.”   Naturally, as a Mainer, I’m not counting on it.

Still, in the words of Burton’s King Arthur, “Don’t let it be forgot that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.”

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5 Responses to A Glorious Fall in Camelot

  1. Lea Wait says:

    We’re also enjoying the warmer-than-usual-weather, Jim, north of you on the coast. Our grass is still green. Better still: our oil bill hasn’t hit danger levels yet, although we have been using the woodstove in my husband’s studio off and on since late September. (We’re a two-heating source household.) A far cry from my first full 12 months in Maine, only 13 years ago, when it snowed several days before Thanksgiving … and we didn’t see the ground again until April. One of my daughters and her fiance came for Christmas that year and stayed through New Years’ … and the temperature never got above 5 the whole time they were here. I’ll admit where I live we have had “decent snow” (above 6 inches) twice already, although it melted within days. And more is predicted for tomorrow. But, you know? We’re due, Jim. This IS Maine.

  2. Tony says:

    Why the gratuitous slap at Republicans?

    Are individual Republicans as wrong on everything as the candidates?

    I don’t mind you having your opinion–of course! But is it necessary to take a shot like that? Especially in what had been a politic free post?

  3. “Here it is December 7th on an island off the coast of Maine and we still haven’t seen a hard frost (which the gardening guides tell us should have been expected by the end of October at the latest). ”

    Well, at least I know where our weather here in Tucson is coming from. Our average high this time of year is 69 degrees. Instead, we’ve tied a record (set in 1913) for the coldest start to December ever. We’ve had THREE nights of hard freeze and two days where the high was 48 degrees.

    Tucsonans aren’t used to this. When it drops below 70, we break out the jackets. Below 60 and people start wearing earmuffs and mittens. I kid you not!

    Here’s hoping the weather gets back to normal soon.

  4. lil Gluckstern says:

    The words to Camelot are so lovely, aren’t they? Every once in a while, the earth turns just right, and one of those magical days shows up. I’m enjoying the new authors I’ve found on this blog, and get nostalgic for the Northeast.

    Lil in California

  5. Vicki Doudera says:

    Well, James, at least we have a little dusting of snow today… ! (Assuming you got it on Peaks… we have trace amounts in Camden.)

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