Monday, January 30, 2012

The non-winter here on Roundtop Mountain continues, with only momentary blips of winter to report. Mostly, January was like a very long November. The snow lasted but a few days and has now retreated to a few tiny patches that are hidden from the sun.

The daytime temperatures are well above freezing, and most nights the temperature does get below freezing, if not always by very much or for very long. By morning, ice in puddles is hardly more than skim ice that is long gone by noon time.

The patterns created by the slowly freezing water caught my eye this weekend. They remind me a bit of tree rings, though I suppose freezing rings would be more accurate. You can see how the freezing starts out with just a little ring and then as the night gets colder, the rings get wider and the water is apparently freezing faster. In a normally cold winter, I don’t see freezing rings. The puddles freeze too fast and are pretty much ringless, with a solid sheet of ice. Not this year.

The warm winter has gotten me to thinking about what the spring might be like. Will winter bother to make an appearance in February? If the winter continues as it has so far, will birds return north much earlier than usual? Will the snow goose and tundra swan migration come long before the end of February? This will be an interesting spring to observe, I think. I’m just not quite ready to start looking for it just yet.


5 comments:

withywindlenatureprograms.com said...

Wow - love the freezing rings! I agree, it looks like a frozen cross-section of a tree.

I've been wondering the same thing about the birds with our warm winter - will migration start any earlier this year? The warm winter temps have been happening all over the country...

Woodswalker said...

While most folks are celebrating this too-warm winter, it's making me very uneasy. Mother Nature needs her winter coat. Your ice photos are lovely.

Pablo said...

First day of February here in KC, and the temp is nearly 60 degrees even before dawn!

Carolyn H said...

WWNP: thanks! I guess only time will tell what the spring will bring. Maybe that's when I'll see snow!

WW: I've always liked winter. I've never understood why people head south on vacation when there's all that northern territory to play in.

Pablo: Here, it's supposed to reach the upper 50's but it's not there yet!

Pablo said...

Okay, last day of January, not first day of february.