Tuesday, February 07, 2012


The news is of the severe winter weather in England and Europe. It seems like they just got over a brutal winter last year! Or do we and they switch off.

We’ve been lucky. A year ago (2011) I was writing about how much snow we were getting. This year the winter is nearly the opposite. We’ve had plenty of rain but not a bit of cold. (Sure helps keep the heating bill down.) Last year we were in for a record-cold winter with lots of snow which is unusual and bitter cold spells which is also unusual but it also not normal for us to have such a mild winter. My jonquils have been ready to bloom for some time. The periwinkle is thinking about it. The candytuft is just barely getting ready to pop out. The last time we had a very mild winter we were equally unlucky enough to also get a killer frost in early Spring. I bet we get a deep frost again.

With each passing week, my friends and I look forward to the winter weather, if it comes, to be short-lasting.

I’ve kept the bird feeding to a minimum. Yet, the yard is full of birds! A first for the year was (in town) a ring-billed gull. They like the parking lots just as the do the crows and house sparrows. Speaking of house sparrows I had two pair checking out the bird houses in the south yard. I don’t want them around but I was interested in watching them inspect their possible new digs. I think they decided to bed down elsewhere. When I checked the houses, all four were stuffed with wren nests which need removing soon.

We have the luxury, I guess, of having robins year around if the winter is mild. Do they know something we don’t? So much for the harbinger of Spring. One bird I’ve missed so far is the Black vulture. It’s same size generally and at a glance a cousin of the Turkey vulture but has no neck, so speak, and has a patch of white under the wind at the wrist.

Speaking of wrists, the popular science magazines are abuzz with some interesting articles about genetically altering chicken embryo to see if they can produce an embryo with dinosaurs features. Cool stuff. Can you imagine what great science fiction this would make?

And some really cheesy movies, too!


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