WEATHER AND WINTER – Marilyn Armstrong

Our weather is weird. In the past decade, we’ve had winters where we are buried in 12 feet (about three meters) of snow next to winters where we don’t get any snow — or so little, we never need to shovel. Or this winter where mostly, it has been so warm with a day or two of cold, then more warm weather. We’ve had the rainiest spring, fall, and winter ever recorded or remembered. It’s pouring right now.

Cold Cardinal Monday

It’s late January — and our dogs are picking up ticks. The ground has not frozen.

Two days ago it was -4 Fahrenheit (-20 Celsius) and today, it’s 50 Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) and it’s pouring rain. Three days ago, we got snow and then freezing rain, winding up with an inch of solid ice on everything. It was like cement. Immovable.

Today is Thursday. It’s warm, raining hard, and blowing a gale.  Everything is washing away. Not a bird in sight because the wind is too strong and they dare not fly. The wind is so powerful our 150-foot (46-meter) oak trees are swaying in the wind like grass. Kind of scary because should one of them fall we are underneath the trees. Big trees. Very big.

An early January morning

Germany used to be a cold country. So was Switzerland. Now they get spring and summer before us. Although New England has always had erratic weather patterns, we had seasonal winds and water temperature that was typical year-to-year. We knew where the weather came from and what it meant. Now, we know nothing. The northern storms are not coming down. Our storms are coming up from the south or the west. No more “Montreal Express” to bring down the arctic weather.

How come ticks are alive in January? We’re going to have massive invasions of insects because of how warm it has been through much of what ought to be winter. Parts of our house are damp and beginning to rot from the rain.

The sun from the east

We get cold days, but just a day or two at a time. Then, it warms up overnight and it’s sort of spring again. I don’t mind not having icy roads, but I mind not having seasons! I never thought I’d hear myself say it, but I actually miss the snow.

We’ve always been weak on Spring. We used to laugh that we got exactly enough time to race down to the local department store — when we had department stores — and buy a bathing suit between the last snow and the first daffodils.

This year, we also missed Autumn, the one really good season we get around here.

Are we getting climate change? It would appear we are in the middle of it. The winds are not blowing from the same directions they used to. The ocean is too warm. Birds are not migrating. Bears aren’t hibernating.

What is our world doing about it? Not much.

And eastern morning …

As for the depression that comes with winter darkness, that’s the only thing that hasn’t changed. I write my way through it. I take pictures of birds. It helps.

Writing helps most. It gets dreary in the winter. Dark until well into the morning and dark again long before dinner. We may change the weather, but so far, we have not managed to change the rotation of the earth or how it circles the sun — or tilts towards or away from the burning orb in the middle.

Last March!

Even among the many who believe in climate change, no one has any idea what to do about it. It’s such a big thing and we are little tiny people living in a damaged world.

Categories: Birds, climate, climate change, Photography, Weather, Winter

Tags: , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Tasmania is burning, north Queensland has floods, Sydney massive storms, Adelaide was the hottest city on the planet one day last week.


  2. I fear it’s too late to do anything about it at all. And perhaps it’s just time. This world has apparently gone through a lot of these, from what geologists and historians tell us. We’re just living through another one. I have to wonder if we’ll survive it. One of them killed off the dinosaurs after all and humans are a lot more puny (if more intelligent) than dinosaurs. Me? I’d hoped to be dead when this happened. I’ve been expecting it for a very long time through religious prophesy. I didn’t really believe, didn’t want to think that a version of hell would happen on earth, but now there’s proof and damn. It’s scary. I hope the oaks stand. Aren’t they mighty? Here’s wishing peace and a bit of mood lift for you. Those bird pictures certainly have helped ME. I thank you for them!


  3. I like how you do that painterly effect (the sun from the east)–very pretty. I just saw your other post. Hope you are feeling better.


  4. We’re going to have to learn to adapt to what ever comes Marilyn. The sun is out here, it’s cold and we got a bit of snow through the night.


  5. Climate change, global warming, ruining our environment… call it whatever it is definitely not what we remember weather being 20 years ago. Now the winter lasts until April, and summer until November. I can’t say I mind 50 degree weather in January, as I do remember about 5 years ago when it snowed endlessly from November until March. I never thought it would melt and I’d see green again. So I’ll take this!


  6. Climate change is all over the world. Yet, nobody is going to do something concrete about it. Only speeches and writing.


  7. Love the photos! That cardinal is superb! And you managed to sneak in another Christmas cactus i see? 😉

    You have rain??? SEND SOME HERE!!! Pleeeeeeze!

    We actually had two consecutive days when some moist stuff fell out of the sky in short bursts and managed to give the impression the ground was wet. For a total of less than an hour over both days. I cannot dignify such with the word ‘rain’.

    Including those 2 days we have recorded some ‘rain’fall on 4 occasions in the last 3 months since mid October, with a grand total of about 1/3rd of an inch. (9mm) The hot dry weather has only just started! Our next rain probably won’t be due until April but the way things are it could be June… or later?

    Whatever we do it won’t matter much unless we can convince the Chinese and Indians to not make the mistakes we did when ‘developing’ from an agrarian economy to a consumer one. What will happen when another 2 billion ‘have nots’ join the ‘throw away’ economy and finally move into first world consumerism does not bear thinking about. 😦

    Like you i find some comfort photographing our feathered friends and was lucky enough to have two special visitors yesterday i will post in a day or so! 🙂

    Keep your chin up Spike! and stay well!


  8. Indeed the climate is changing. I look out the window and still see green grass, we are not swamped in snow, perhaps a week of it, but nothing to bad, but in our alpine regions it was a different syory with bad avalanches.


  9. I’m glad that your writing helps take you through the darkness of winter! And your birds ertainly must help as well — they are beautiful!


  10. I imagine that many scientists have some strong opinions about what needs to be done. The trick is getting the government and all the citizens on board.


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