Friday, February 3, 2012

Revisiting February 2011

"Imbolc" (February 2) marks the time when Nature begins speeding up toward Spring.  Sun is stronger and marks his presence longer each day.  Birds begin wearing colors of Spring Plumage and practicing those beautiful Spring Calls.  Buds on trees and shrubs begin to swell while anticipating the day they will unfurl.  Humans are known to pick up more energy in their steps.  That's just the usual order of things here in the Northern Hemisphere.  I wonder how these things manifest "down south".

The night before Imbolc (February 1) this year, Richard read from his February 2011 calendar.  He keeps great records of what we see and experience right here on the Farm.  The calendar is a posting of what happened last year and what we are likely to see again soon.  While I do not want the "hibernation stage" to end prematurely, I am eager for the next acts of the show.  Here are his notes, with a focus on what we were seeing "in nature":
  • 1: Big time blizzard today and tonight, 14 inches of snow, lots of drifting, snow bound for the first time in MO.
  • 2: Digging out from blizzard.
  • 3: 5 degrees last night, still digging out, birds eating like crazy, Titmice calling peta-peta-peta [spring call].
  • 4: A little warmer, Red Breasted Nuthatch still around.
  • 6: Shoveled mailbox out, heard my 1st Cardinal "car alarm" this morning [spring call].
  • 8: 8 degrees this morning.
  • 9: Nothing.
  • 12: Several Cardinals now singing.
  • 13: Saw 1st Robin.
  • 15: 5 Robins in back trees.
  • 16: Tree Sparrows gone.
  • 17: No fire in wood stove tonight, 65 degrees today.
  • 18: 1st Chorus Frog, Flocks of Blackbirds and several flocks (1000+) of Snow Geese got back today, parsnips in basement are beginning to sprout.
  • 19: Conditions perfect for Goose and Duck migration, warmer, clear skies.
  • 20: 1st territorial Red Wings arrive (by lagoon), more Snow Geese.
  • 21: Great Horned Owl screaming in north woods [likely courtship], more Snow Geese.
  • 24: Ladd found a skunk last night! 27 Cardinals in backyard today [all males with an equal number of females] [Poor Ladd with his supersensitive sniffer: Skunk smell lingered for months, being "reconstituted" with rains.]
  • 25: 6 inches of snow yesterday and last night, still seeing the occasional Tree Sparrow.
  • 26: Got a nice Ball Peen Hammer. [I couldn't resist a non-Nature entry.  I suppose I am checking to see if the Reader is still with me.]
  • 27: Rain tonight with thunder and lightning.
  • 28: 1st Woodcock this evening, Great Horned Owls courting.

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