Monday, April 16, 2007

Spring Nor'easter


The strong nor’easter that pummeled the, uh, northeast made its presence felt here on Roundtop, too. I have had several inches of rain, “trapping” me in the cabin for most of Sunday. I’m currently worrying through strong winds that kept me awake for much of the night. To be fair, it wasn’t just the wind that kept me awake. Whenever, anything fell on the roof or the decks and made a noise, Baby Dog was forced to bark at it. I had a mildly wet basement from the rain, but it was nothing my little battery pump couldn’t handle. So far the winds have dropped limbs and branches but no wires or trees.

Before the storm hit, Saturday was overcast but calm and almost warm. I saw a pair of ruby-crowned kinglets darting through the trees, but that was my only new migrant of the weekend. By now I should have at least 10 mores bird species than I’ve recorded.

I’m starting to see some new growth on the forest floor, but it’s still minimal compared with most years to this time. And what has started growing is still too small for me to identify the species. For plants, I need more than ¼ to ½ inch of growth before I can identify them. I have finally seen the first butterfly of the new season—a cabbage white. Typically, I have seen at least 3-4 other species by now.

I expect that once this nor’easter has blown through that spring will explode almost overnight. As you can see from today’s photo looking across the valley and towards the next ridges, it still doesn’t look much like spring here. The grass is green, but the orchard isn’t even close to blossoming yet.

I guess all years have their own seasonal oddities—too much rain, too little, too cold, too warm, etc.,--but this year is one of the most unusual I can remember. I suppose you could say I find it intellectually interesting, but emotionally concerning. Too many odd years in a row have serious consequences for wildlife, migrants and the forest itself. I can do little about it but watch and document what I see.

3 comments:

LauraO said...

I'm waiting for spring to explode too - so far, signs are few and far between. We seem to have similar weather patterns - only rain and mild winds here as well.

Cathy said...

Oh yea, that Nor'easter was fun. It pour all day Sunday and snowed all day today. Well at least I got the day off today. At times it look like a blizzaed with the snow in the morning. Got about three inches of the crazy white stuff. However, did get a great picture and will be posted at my blog.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: Sorry about your snow. Hopefully it will disappear quickly. I'll check your blog for the photo!

Laurao: The wind wasn't mild here, though I didn't have any damage. I found a spring beauty this morning--the first! Hopefully, the photo will be up soon.