Monday, February 07, 2011

Respite

Winter sunset
Despite that ice that still plagues my cabin, I am starting to get the sense that winter’s tightest grip is easing a bit. The first sunny sky in days and the first (if very briefly held) 40° reading on the thermometer were the reasons for that sense. Neither of those will last very long. Yesterday's sunny sky is already overcast, and today’s temperature, while happily above freezing by noon, seems stuck just above that mark so far today.

I am not the only creature in my forest who seems to have noticed the improving weather, however. Last night an opossum appeared, skittering away as quickly as a ’possum can skitter on ice, much to the excitement of Dog. It’s the first one I’ve seen since around Thanksgiving or so. A raccoon, though not Pig, was also out the day before. And this morning I smelled skunk, another first in several months. Yesterday I looked in vain for a circling Turkey Vulture. They winter just to the south of me, and I often see them on the very first day with a warming trend in February. Too soon, I guess.

Still, it’s signs like these that raise my spirits a bit or at least give me even a momentary respite from the ice and cold. I like winter, though when I think about it, my vision of a good winter is one with cold, sunny days and snow on the ground. Fog and gray clouds with ice underfoot is not part of that picture, so my enthusiasm for this year’s winter is less than it usually is. I don’t know that I’m yet to the point of wishing for spring, but I sure won’t mind being able to get out into the woods and walk around again.

9 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I'm hearing summer songs of Chickadees and House Finches today and the sun is getting warmer, even though the temps are pretty cold today. I don't mind our long winters except for the lack of sunshine. I'malso finding that the older I get, the more I hate bad road conditions due to the snow and ice.

Cathy said...

I'm already thinking about spring! With lots of colorful flowers and green grass with a big yellow sun.

Ok I'm planning what I'm going decorate the kid's room at work.

But I'm tired of the snow and it's snowing outside right now :( Or maybe I just need a couple days of just sun!

Cathy said...

Lol!!!! Did I hit "publish your comment" button before I put my info in.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Carolyn -- We are having the same weather here in KY as you are. Snowing as I write. My 4th winter here and the hardest winter yet. Nature is bringing Spring in slowly -- the best sign right now -- for me -- is the longer daylight hours.
-- barbara

Scott said...

I smelled skunk for the first time here yesterday, too, Carolyn. I often see skunks in the winter, but not when the ground is snow- and ice-bound like it is now. In December, I buried an Osprey found dead on the property in a foot-deep grave; something (coyote? raccoon?)found it overnight and left a pile of feathers.

Elora said...

Hang in there, Carolyn! Not too much longer!! We're essentially thawed here. Had a skiff of snow this a.m. Now gone. Still, the wind bites! And the stove is still consuming wood!

Elora

Pablo said...

One more truly bitter day around here, then we progress into the 50s. Not bad for February in Kansas City. We got another few inches of snow last night, but it hardly seems there compared to the two feet we got last week.

Spring, you say?

LauraHinNJ said...

I felt a hint of Spring the other day... not sure what it was exactly, but I was glad for it!

: )

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: yesterday was sunny and the cardinal was really going to town with his spring song. For a few minutes, at least while I was listening to him, it really did feel a bit like spring.

Cathy: Tonight will likely be near zero, but the forecast is for sun and temperatures near 40 for Saturday. I am very much ready for that much improvement in the weather.

Barbara: I am much appreciating the slightly longer days, too. At least now I can get home from work and take care of most of my evening chores before it's completely dark. This evening the sun was still above the mountain horizon--a big improvement!

Scott: i wondered what killed the osprey? Do you think it collided with something? i'm not surprised to hear that something took advantage of its death.

Elora: The longer days are enough for me right now. The sky has cleared so it's not gloomy with low clouds. The brighter weather is a big help after the shortest days.

Pablo: i don't expect to see 50's just yet. the 40's will be a big improvement.

Laura: A couple of days with warmer temperatures sure feels better after weeks of cold weather and gloomy skies.