A winter’s spring day.

It’s the 8th February 2008. A warm winters day at 14 degrees C, clear blue skies and pleasant enough to sit out in the garden in the sun without a winter coat.

Last night at 23:30 hours the blackbirds burst into song.  It was a strange sound to hear but of course beautiful. I guess there’s beauty in chaos.

The plants of all description are budding or breaking through the soil. The earth is alive again! Only, they are all 6 weeks early. 

This entry was posted in Biodiversity, Climate change, Extreme weather, Nature & Conservation, UK, Wildlife and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A winter’s spring day.

  1. earthpal says:

    Sounds lovely Matt. It’s milder than it should be where I am too. Nature is very confused. Have you seen any new-born lambs yet?

  2. matt says:

    No! Have you?

  3. the Grit says:

    Hi y’all,

    It’s the same here near Memphis, Tennessee. Of course, our warm spell was displaced by a cold front moving in from the south-west, which has to make one give at least a scratch or two to their head, resulting in a massive tornado party, leaving 50+ dead and giant swaths of land churned into mulch. Strangely enough, a couple of hundred miles to the north, they’re having the coldest winter in several decades, with record snowfalls and deaths related to those conditions as well. Still, around here I haven’t noticed any early plant activity, and the birds are the usual ones for this time of year. Defiantly an unusual year.

    the Grit

  4. earthpal says:

    No, I haven’t seen any yet Matt but I’m sure it won’t be long before they come along.

    I’ve being hearing the birdsongs a lot in the early mornings which is usually a sign of Spring. They usually start around mid-Feb but I’ve been hearing them for about three weeks now.

    Hi Grit, sorry to hear about the deaths caused by the extreme weather.

  5. matt says:

    I’ve seen the pictures of the damage those tornadoes did Grit. Unbelievable power.

    And yes I’m hearing of the freak cold snaps Canada way. The Chinese are having their worst winter in well over a 100 years.

    Quite how folk adapt to such sudden and extreme changes God only knows!

  6. the Grit says:

    Hi y’all,

    It was a rather strange storm. While we get tornadoes with all to much frequency in this area, they’re usually short duration events. In this last outburst, one of the twisters stayed on the ground for over 100 miles. It’s been decades since we’ve had such.

    the Grit

  7. matt says:

    100 miles! Sweet Jesus. There’s a lot of power and moisture feeding that beast. It’s all those melting icebergs coming down on yer there Grit. Ya better to lock up that SUV bud.

  8. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    Naw, we’ve been getting such in the Mid-West for centuries. They usually don’t manage to make it across the Mississippi River though. As to the cause, personally I don’t think SUV’s have anything to do with it. Much more likely, I would think, that the vegetarian craze in California and the resulting increase of uncontrolled methane emissions is to blame.

    Also, to be precise, I don’t own an SUV. I drive a full sized GMC pickup truck and it’s a necessary farm vehicle (just try hauling a cord of firewood in a Prias.) On the other hand, it’s a 1990 model with only 125,000 miles on it, so on average it’s almost undoubtedly produced less pollution, of whatever kind is currently considered such, than most vehicles on the road judged on a yearly total basis. Obviously I don’t drive much. It should also be noted that, as of this year, my truck is old enough to vote and, if I was a Democrat, would probably be doing so in the near future. On the other hand, you can probably find some ecological fault in my wife’s vehicle, which is a 1986 Lincoln Town Car with a 455 cubic inch engine, producing at modest engine revolutions 280 horse power and enough torque to make the Statue of Liberty do a pirouette. Unfortunately, it’s curb weight of over three tons makes it a bit slow off the starting line, but it will continue to accelerate forever, or at least to 120 mph, which is the point where I got a tiny bit unsure of my safety if I continued to press on the long pedal. Even this conspicuous consumption vehicle is, I would point out, not without its good points. For instance, the ridiculous fuel costs it requires are, to a great deal, offset by renting its mammoth trunk storage space to illegal aliens as living space, or to the Federal Government as temporary storage for nuclear waste. The passenger space is, I must also point out, large enough to support its own ecosystem, to which, over the years, several species of plant and animal life have adapted. We are, if things go well, expecting the Government grants to sustain these unique life forms in the near future. I should also mention that, in the near future, we are going to start a new web site which will document the movements of this vehicle, and calculate its influence on the gravity field of the Earth, so those who care about the tiny details of life can adjust their clocks and global positioning systems to take our weight shifts into consideration.

    the Grit

  9. matt says:

    Grit, you don’t half burble sometimes.

  10. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    Half a burble is better than none 🙂

    Oh, and a neighbor of mine made a most interesting discovery as concerns our local wild life. One of his cats, as that creature will do, managed to kill a flying squirrel and deliver the corpse to his door step. While I’m generally against the killing of critters one isn’t going to eat, it was quite instructive to learn that we have these animals in the area. While I would love to see them glide between my trees, apparently they’re mostly nocturnal, so I’ve started saving for night vision goggles. It makes me wonder what else is sharing my farm that I don’t know about!?

    the Grit

  11. matt says:

    Flying squirrels … interesting.

    > It makes me wonder what else is sharing my farm that I don’t know about!?

    Hmm, …. polar bears!

  12. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    They might like it this week, considering we finally had a cold snap, but I doubt they’d make it through the summer 🙂 Of course, if I read the historical records correctly, there used to be plenty of black bears in this area, along with the occasional grizzly. I continue to be glad for their absence, not wanting to lug a large caliber rifle with me when ever I venture into the fields. Actually, my remark was directed more toward what other small critters I’m coexisting with that I have yet to catch a glimpse of. Considering that my eyes seem to be a bit less sharp with each passing year, I’m thinking that, when I hit the big lottery, a complex video surveillance system will be a must.

    Oh, and I’ve had at two modestly reputable reports of a feline much larger than a bob cat in the area. Hmm…

    the Grit

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