Wednesday, March 20, 2013

No comet, no spring

Last night I went out in search of comet PanSTARSS again, to no avail. I went to the spot in this photograph, though after sunset, of course, to look for it. I think I was too early as the western sky was still pretty light. I wasn’t able to stay past 8 p.m., unfortunately. If I had to guess I’d say that 8:15-8:30 would be the right time to check the next time.

The snow of winter’s last day is already mostly gone, just a few snowballs or patches of it are left. The temperature shows no sign of warming up in honor of the new season yet. I was hoping to be able to put away the warmest of my midwinter sweaters. Instead, I’m still wearing them. I guess my garden plans will have to wait a while longer yet.

The cool weather seems to have halted spring migration, too. I haven’t heard any more phoebes or spring peepers. I did see four loons heading north the other day. I’m pretty sure they were common loons, though at the altitude they were flying, the identification isn’t certain. Red-throated loons are possible but not nearly as common, so calling these common loons is a pretty safe bet. Flying loons are the only kind I get to add to my “yard” list of species seen. I’m not sure even the biggest of the snowmaking ponds is large enough a runway for them to take off.

If spring birds are at a premium right now, the arrival of spring butterflies and moths are equally at a standstill. Usually, I could expect to see eastern blue butterflies or a few nondescript moths hovering around my porch light. Not yet, not this year. Winter started late this year and now it looks as through spring will too.

1 comment:

Scott said...

We've had to postpone our annual "Spring Peeper" walk three times; now, we've just told registrants, "We'll call you when the spring peepers come out."