Natural History Notes

Monday, May 26, 2014

snow ... or mostly sleet

(This was written almost six months ago, on Dec. 6, I think, but never posted.)

Two days ago it was sunny and almost 80°. Today is completely overcast and fifty degrees colder. In between we had, besides a blue norther, about eighteen hours of sleet and a little snow - the yard is completely white, though the wind all night means the branches and fence-rail are clear. No destructive ice coating the branches, thank goodness.

Tom helped me fill the sunflower seed feeder on the last day of his visit. The yard has been full of cardinals, plus a towhee, Harris' sparrow, white-throat, red-bellied weedpecker, chickadees, and of course a squirrel head-down on the feeder.

Meanwhile I sit inside by the fire, though I only have about enough wood for today, and will have to make do with sitting by the space heater tomorrow. Ben has returned my sharpened chainsaw, though, so next time Steve comes out, I should get some fuel.

The plum thickets turned a nice orange-bronze a couple weeks ago, and are now bare and gray. The big pear and the red oak by the gate, however, remained green until a few days ago, and are now bright. I was afraid they would lose all their leaves in the gale yesterday, but so far not.