Monday, November 08, 2010

Winter is knocking on the door

My western view is still a work in progress, though already a bit more progress has been made. I took this photo on Saturday morning, and I know more leaves have come down since then. I might even have seen the season’s first snowflake last evening, though I wouldn’t swear to it. After dark I was walking Dog, wearing my headlamp to navigate the through the forest during the New Moon. And I thought I saw at least two snowflakes.
The nights are cold enough for snow, if not yet cold enough for snow to lay on the ground. Lake-effect snow did fall not all that far west of me, so it’s not out of the question for a few of those flakes to reach my wind-swept mountain top. The feeder birds have certainly feed as though they expect snow.

I’ve resorted to bringing my bird feeders inside overnight. I’m tired of feeding a 20+lb raccoon and having to wander through the forest looking for the birdfeeders he’s stolen from my deck. Not only must I remember to bring them in at night, but I have to remember to put them out in the morning—a task that’s easier to remember this morning because the forest is now light when I eat breakfast.

The feeders were busy with birds all weekend. I didn’t see anything unusual, though I was happy to see three goldfinch in the finch feeder. Often, that feeder seems lonely, and the niger seed not quick to get eaten. Some of the birds that are supposed to be eating the niger seed seem to prefer the other offerings instead. I don’t begrudge them whatever they choose to eat, but it’s made me consider taking that feeder down as a result. I guess I won’t do that now. Those goldfinch have convinced me that someone is using it.

Away from the feeders, I did see a few unusual birds, at least unusual for November. Yesterday, a nearly-adult bald eagle flew over Roundtop’s north parking lot, heading north. I guess that one’s not ready to migrate just yet. And I saw three robins cruising quickly through the trees, probably wondering where their next worms are going to come from.

It’s starting to feel almost wintry outside, that windy, chilly, raw feeling that says November to me. November to me means it’s time to make sure I’m ready for winter, and that raw wind from the northwest hurries me along. I hurry to stay warm and I hurry to finish up all the things that need done before winter. Time is short now. Winter is coming.


jeannette said...

Good strategy about the birdfeeders:) It's neat to see the changes in your neck of the woods as the year progresses!

Carolyn H said...

Jeannette: If it's one thing I have here in PA, it's a a good look at all four seasons.

Carolyn H.

Granny Sue said...

We were working on getting ready this weekend--putting things away, pulling a few last veggies from the garden, bringing in the flowers. And we drove through a right smart flurry on the way to Morgantown. It looks like snow will be early this year, if these early flakes are any sign.

I enjoy the winter woods. The shape of the hills is defined and the trees are so fine in their bare branches. It's a different, more spare beauty, isn't it?

Cathy said...

Well you already know, winter has come to my area. Right now, the wind is gusting through the area.

I'll admit, part of me wanted to see an inch of snow tomorrow morning . but i don't think that's going to happen

Anonymous said...

Snowflakes in the woods at night...what a wonderful thing! And I hope your bad raccoon stays away!

Carolyn H said...

Granny Sue: I love the winter woods too. There's nothing like taking a walk after dark in a few inches of still-falling snow. The snow lights up the forest so I don't need a light. It's as quiet as it ever gets. It's just perfect.

Carolyn H.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: I could do without that wind...

Carolyn H.

Carolyn H said...

letspaintnature: The raccoon comes and goes. He appears last night but I'd brought the bird feeder in, so he didn't get much but the offals. I'd like to think it should hibernate soon, but they aren't the best hibernators even in a cold year. I can hope, though!

Carolyn H.