Well, we finally had a whole week of winter at one time with [morning] temperatures in single digits (even below zero a couple of days) and snow four days in a row. That kept the snowmobilers riding through the weekend, but trails hit by the sun are bare again with all that traffic. There were a few accidents, four went in the open water of the Inlet channel and one snowmobiler hit a pressure crack on Indian Lake. A rescue vehicle going to that accident went through the ice, [they] self-rescued and got out. The injured snowmobiler was brought to shore and a waiting ambulance.
Posts Tagged ‘Black-capped chickadees’
We hit all kinds of weather and temperature changes going to Utica two times this week. Starting out in the dark on Friday, [Feb. 9] the temperature was near freezing with a misty rain that tried to freeze on the windshield, but as we went further south the skies nearly cleared and we even saw a sunrise in Utica. The clouds moved in during the day, but only a few short showers passed through and it was mostly clear on the way home.
Winter held on for another week, giving snowmobilers and skiers some snow to play on…but be careful of ice conditions with all the freezing and thawing we’ve had this winter. Punxsutawney Phil and Ellie George’s Paradox Pete didn’t see their shadows, so we can look for Spring most any time. Since we’ve had six Spring Breaks so far this winter, that won’t be anything new.
Winter is still late to arrive…and stay white outside. This morning [Jan. 1,] it is white, but just enough to cover the leaves. Out in Webster on Saturday morning [Dec. 30,] they were getting lake effect [snow,] but it was not sticking to the unfrozen ground. It brought several birds to the feeder my son had out behind his pool which was good entertainment before going to the wedding in the afternoon. My grandson, Nathan, and I [captured] several bird photos, trying to catch a good one of the leucistic male Northern Cardinal [at] Jason’s feeder.
So far, the storm coming up the east coast hasn’t done much in this area other than rain. They are predicting that it is going to change to snow overnight, but who could tell with this up and down weather we have been having. Some people to the south of us in Tennessee got hammered with tornadoes just outside of Nashville with six people killed, hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed, and thousands without power. The warm weather to the east clashed with the cold air coming from the west, causing these tornadoes. It was a thin line looking on the weather map, but if you were in it, that’s where the tornadoes happened.
The tamaracks [have] lost their needles. One day Karen said, “What is that all over the surface of the pond?” It was the needles off the four tamaracks that grow around the pond. [This happened] after the windy Thursday night [Nov. 2]. I had my Saw Whet Owl nets up after patching another hole. [I] took them down after a couple checks, because all I was catching were falling beech leaves…which do not pick out a net in the dark. I caught one owl the night before, so I knew there were still some traveling through the area.
The mountainsides and lake shorelines are looking a lot grayer than they were a week ago, as most of the leaves are on the ground. The beech [trees] and what few oak [trees we have] in the area are still holding on to most of their leaves. The birds and animals have been working hard, collecting and eating the beechnuts. A few of the beech trees along my driveway have been a busy place with squirrels, chipmunks, crows, ravens and blue jays working overtime in the treetops. Many of these critters are putting these [beechnuts] in storage, [while] others are eating them on the spot. One of my owl nets is right under one of these trees. Those burrs (that hold the nuts) make a mess when they get into the nets. You must pick the burr apart to get them out of the mesh.
The smoke has gone away (somewhat) with the recent rain and wind change. With 8 million acres-plus on fire, that makes lots of smoke. It was so bad when I was out on the Cedar River Flow that it hid a thunderstorm because you couldn’t see the real clouds. Suddenly there was thunder booming not far away. I made it back to the landing and just got the canoe strapped onto the truck when the skies opened up. There was hail and a big temperature change of about fifteen degrees.
The Crown Point Banding Station closed its doors on Saturday, May 20, with a good crew taking down tents, canopies, [a] weather station, and nets in short order by 11 a.m. The rain that was predicted went around us and the strong winds also didn’t come while we were picking up. Tom Barber had the nets up (and a few birds already bagged) when I got up at 5:30 a.m. He had picked six June bugs from the nets while putting them up and I found just one in the nets I put up. As I came out of the tent he said, “The Gray Catbirds are biting this morning and that was the first bird, I picked out of the main net lane.” He said, “I got a new bird for the year, a Brown-Headed Cowbird out of the North net.”
March came in like a lamb and went out like a lamb in this neck of the woods. We got a few drabs of snow that last week…some that just covered the ground following rain each time. Some of the nights the stars were very bright, and one night the aurora borealis was super after the clouds moved out. I didn’t see it, but I saw several photos of the many colors that appeared in the night sky. Some days it got up into the high fifties, but some nights it got down into the single digits.
North Americans share an amazing diversity of birds. More than 1,000 species can be found in the United States alone. They come in an astonishing variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and behaviors. You could live a lifetime and never see every variety of bird that it’s possible to see in our state, or even in your neighborhood.
For a serious birder, spotting a rare bird is tremendously exciting, but for everyone else, seeing a quick flash of red, yellow, or orange on the trail can be just as exhilarating. And watching birds at home has been proven to reduce stress.
Still no winter weather in sight. [There is a] combination of rain and snow in the forecast during the next week, so the snow dancers better get back in action. Out west, California is getting hammered for the last two weeks and more [is] coming today (January 9). Five inches of rain [is] forecast across most of the state, with four to five feet of snow in the mountains…they just can’t get a break. They had lots of flooding from the first two storms, and now this one on top will cause mudslides from areas bare from the forest fires.
This up-and-down fall weather is not good for the little critters that live just under the snow searching for food. The rain comes and takes most of the snow away, the ground freezes, and leaves them without a home until the snow comes again. Most winters in this area, there is hardly ever frost in the ground when it is covered with snow. The year of the 1980 Olympics, we had a big washout just after Christmas which bared up the ground, [and] then [we had] a deep freeze for a few days.
There were a few natives who had waterlines just under the ground a few inches and they froze for the first time ever, with no snow cover to protect them. We [got] some snow, but up in the Lake Placid area they got no snow and had to make and move snow for the whole cross-country track…which was quite an effort. I remember going up to get our ID passes as Forest Rangers, and the ground was bare two weeks before the Olympics.
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