Good morning to all of you on this fine Wednesday! Okay, I admit, it is a bit cold today. The temperature is -2F (-19C) this morning. But it is supposed to warm up to 9F (-13C) this afternoon, with some sunshine. So, hopefully I can go for a walk to the river today before the cold weather hits us. I am not really a fan of cold weather, which most of you know. I like heat. That means summer.
Even our summers are not exactly hot most of the time. We can get a few hot days during the summer. But it sure is not like it used to be. We could normally expect 3 or 4 weeks of hot weather. That means temps of around 85 to 100F. We still get hot days like that, but now it is more like 5 or 6 days of the summer, not weeks. Things have definitely been getting colder up here over the last 20 years or so.
This is the Evening Grosbeak male, the only grosbeak that is here year round. It is with a couple female Common Redpolls.
Colder, shorter summers and colder, longer winters. I have compared actual weather records and found it goes something like this. From about 1950 to 1975 we had shorter, cooler summers and longer, colder winters, with lots of snow. From 1975 to about 2000 things began warming up, very nicely in fact. We had longer, warmer summers and shorter, milder winters with less snow. Now, that is averages, there were ups and downs during those time periods, but that is still the way things worked out.
Since 2000 it has been reversing again to that earlier time period so it looks more like it did from the 1950s to the mid 1970s. Sigh. We could expect the snow to be gone in the spring by no later than April 7th, often earlier. Now it stays until the end of April. Oh well. I am hoping for an early spring this year and a longer, warmer summer. I like to dream. But you all know that. Days like this are good coffee days. Any cold day is a good coffee day. Okay, any day is a good coffee day.
And here we have the male Pine Grosbeak, they are only here during the winter.
But cold days are especially good coffee days. We are going to get a lot more of those especially good coffee days coming up very soon. I am not looking forward to that. I like warm weather. But I think you know that already. On cold days I prefer to stay indoors, though that is not always possible. This winter I am trying to get out for at least a short walk every day. Unfortunately it is very slippery now, probably due to all that freezing drizzle we had, and ice does not go away this time of the year. So I need to be careful.
More coffee, that is what I need, how about you? There, that is better, another cup of hot coffee to enjoy. My new coffee cup holds 20 ounces (568ml, or more than half a liter). A perfect size, especially for winter. I have noticed something odd. The chickadees, back before Christmas, were showing up at the feeders while it was just barely getting daylight.
Here is a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. This one is only here during the summer months.
Now, the chickadees do not arrive until a good hour after there is nice daylight. I have never seen that before in all my years of feeding birds. Chickadees are always early, the first birds to show up. I guess they still are the first to show up, but blue jays never are that early and the nuthatches come with the chickadees.
And that is it for the regular birds. The woodpeckers are not that regular and never seem to be that early, although the Downy woodpeckers have been first a few times this month. Oh well, always something different each winter. I hope you enjoy the pics today! Have a wonderful Wednesday and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2023 Steve McLeod.