Monday, November 28, 2011

Wonder where the winter is?

It was unusually warm, the sun high in the sky, but it was just a few days ago, late November. The grass should be covered with snow, or at least brown and brittle. And these geese should be floating in the middle of the river or standing on ice, not standing on mudflats basking in the sun.

The weather has been strange... but a friend told me this afternoon, that on this day in 1979 it was in the mid-60s. He said yes climate change is affecting everything, but this kind of aberrant weather isn't completely unusual.

"We had no winter that year," he commented, "but in 1978 it was a doozy!"

So I wondered what it means for this year? I've seen flocks of robins, blue jays, crows, all joining the geese and heading south.  There are tons of berries on the mountain ash, the apple trees had a heavy crop this summer and pine trees? Cones a-plenty. Lots of food around. But high up. Squirrels' nests are high in the trees.

Sometimes "old tyme almanacs" say that these kinds of things predict a mild but very snowy winter - with deep snow, making it difficult for some creatures to get food...interesting thought. Were the almanacs saying that would happen this year?
The geese eventually joined the rest of the flock and headed in a very casual manner out to the middle of the river - not worried that I might follow with my camera, but not staying close either. They are among a very large number of geese who hang around for the winter at this particular bend in the river, since it seldom freezes over completely and they can dive for food in comfort, specially if its going to be a mild winter.

They seem in no hurry to go anywhere. Close to 200 geese, maybe more, stay in this area when the wind is high and the nearby lake is too difficult to mine for minnows, snails and any other food geese eat. They also feed on green grass. There's plenty of that here for now.

Do they know something we humans don't, do you think?

Do you speculate on what kind of winter we might have in Central Ontario this year? Is it climate change or just an aberrant bit of weather? I guess we'll know in hind sight one day. But climate change continues to concern me and many others. We do need to do something globally, work together to help this old planet stabilize and recover from all the mistakes we've made as the most dominant species.

Please consider helping an organization that works for ecological sustainability this holiday season. Or help an animal rescue organization. Both are causes dear to my heart and so I feel it important to ask for help for them.

No comments:

Post a Comment