January 12, 2013 Weekly News
Storm systems have been quiet since the New Year, however in typical New England style the temperatures have gone from frigid cold to moderately above freezing and light rain across a large portion of the state predicted through the next couple of days. Snow pack is settling making for good conditions to be out on snowshoes. This will give the deer a chance to break trails from their wintering yards out to areas where they can browse. The skating ponds in York County are full every afternoon with kids enjoying the outdoors. The New Moon has brought higher than usual tides along the Maine coast.
On Friday January 11th the dawn sky was absolutely gorgeous. I was outside well before sunrise and was surprised at the number of birds I heard calling. A few Robins were making that cluck-cluck-cluck call they tend to use just after sunset on summer evenings. It isn’t uncommon during the winter to see Robins in small flocks, sometimes mixed with Bluebirds around the Piscataqua watershed, but I had never heard them call like that on a winter morning. I’m curious if anyone else has had that experience, please comment below.
The air was still and as the sun came up there was a lot of activity at the feeder. A big smile crossed my face when I noticed a White-throated Sparrow scratching in the leaves where I throw seed. A squirrel was playing hide-n-seek with me while a Crow watched overhead, curious if I would have something he might be interested in. By noon there was cloud cover and the wind had swung to the south. I was reminded of the old proverb “Red Sky at Morning, Sailors Take Warning”. Although no significant storms were forecasted, the wind had changed and the outlook was for light rain over the next few days. Perhaps there is something to that saying. Didn’t find anything in my weather books so I went online, here is a link to the Library of Congress where I found some information. http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/weather-sailor.html
When the cloud cover clears where you are, watch for the Waxing Crescent moon to the West in the evenings. Mars in the evening West sky and Venus in the morning East sky are barely visible for just a few more days.