Monday, December 17, 2012
The animals seemed as flummoxed as I was. Dog and I walked right up to a deer this morning. We startled her out of her bed and then she just stood there, not 10 feet away. Even then I could just barely see her outline, though her eyes gleamed in my headlamp. I’m not sure Dog ever saw her or that she saw Dog. We all just stood there and then she moved away slowly. Two steps was all it took to put her out of even my limited sight. That may have been the closest I’ve ever been to a wild deer.
We startled something else too, something lower to the ground. I suspect an opossum but I can’t be sure. I didn’t even see its eyes shine in my headlamp. It just scurried away, rustling the leaves as it went. The sound told me that it was close, almost underfoot, though we never saw it.
Fog, of course, is not the norm in December. November marked the only month in 2012 that fell below normal temperatures, at least by my reckoning. I suppose it was simply too much to hope that November would mark a shift, even a temporary one, to a few months with cooler than average or even “normal” temperatures.
I seem to be surrounded by people who love the warmer weather, without a care for the implications that either short-term or long term climate change brings. To me, the short-term issues are that without some deeply cold weather, the annoying insects of summer won’t die off and diminish their numbers to a population that doesn’t overwhelm when spring returns. And there’s the nasty viruses and bacteria-caused ailments that never get killed off either. Plus, if I wanted to live in Georgia or Virginia, I would move there. I don’t want that mild weather here in four-season Pennsylvania. I am obviously in the minority in that.
To me, “normal” weather is one more year where climate change is held at bay, or at least held to some form of that. Another warm month is another step where more ground is lost in this battle. In 2012, we lost a lot of ground.