You can debate all you want about why our planet is getting warmer, but at this point it is pretty hard to deny that it has indeed happened.

When we first bought our home in Queensbury nearly 20 years ago and started vegetable gardening, we knew the growing season would end in mid- to late September with the first hard frost.

That growing season has gone later and later the last 10 to 15 years, to the point where this year that a few of my tomato plants were still (barely) alive, with a few ripening fruit on them, as of Monday.

We pulled up our red peppers, carrots and beans over weekend, seeing the likelihood of a hard frost that came this morning. Our spring/summer flowers made it through to this morning as well, the light frost we had last week not harming them. I managed to get one more picking of fall raspberries in as well.

I have also seen the effect that warmer temperatures have had on many of the trout streams I have fished around her for nearly 30 years. The wild fish just aren't there in nearly the numbers they were even 10 years ago. Summer droughts and warm temperatures have hurt them. 

Maybe this warming cycle is natural, maybe it isn't. I can't say that it has bugged me not to have to fire up the furnace as much, or being able to hike snowless trails in March. But I wonder, and to a degree fear, what the long-term impact is going to be.

- Don Lehman

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Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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