|Sunrise over Pincho Lake - December 13, 2015|
Non-winter is in place here on Roundtop Mtn. The ski resort hasn’t yet been able to make snow, as the nighttime temperatures are well above freezing. I haven’t turned on the electric heat in the cabin, though on a few damp mornings, I had a fire in the fireplace. For the past week I haven’t even needed that.
Birds are not flocking to my feeders. They are apparently still able to find natural food in the forest. Oh, a few of them show up in the morning and again in the evening. I think it’s more to check that food is available than from any real sense of needing it. By this time turkey and black vultures have usually departed at least some ways to the south. Yesterday, I saw 9 of them twirling around the top of Roundtop.
El Nino, the apparent cause of this warm weather, is showing its impact. How long this record-breaking, strange weather will last is unknown.
Today, a northwest wind is driving down the temperature, though it’s still above 50°. The northern robins, a Labrador subspecies I believe, still forage through the forest. When I was younger, they were called woods robins locally, browner and larger than the summer robins that breed here in that season. I saw a flock of 14 yesterday. I usually find them by sound. They tend to hang together in a loose flock, skimming through the forest. I see them mostly in the mornings and evenings. Most winters I see them into January, though they do disappear during the worst of a winter. In February they often reappear on the first sunny day. They are always able to find open water—perhaps from a spring-fed pond, a puddle or an open stream. So far this year, the pickings are easy and open water is everwhere.