Backyard Almanac: Snowbound
Larry Weber is snowbound. Many people are right now. In spite of (or more likely "because of") the constricting weather, there are plenty of noteworthy happenings in the outdoors.
The temperature brings an interesting stat that has played into the heavy snowfall. Over the past five days the temperature has not changed more than 2 degrees. The near-steady temps in the lower 30s mean that wet snow collected on trees resulting in fallen trees and broken limbs. "My yard is also littered with branches of pines," says Weber. "I carried away a bunch of them yesterday, but there are many more still there."
"This could be the winter of goldfinches," says Weber of the winter bird population. The impending Christmas Bird Count might be telling about whether or not the finches stick around. "We may end up seeing something that we don't normally see. Well, I had it happen this week. During the snow storm a flock of gold finches showed up at the birdfeeder."
The snow will also be telling of animal movement. Weber has spotted some skunk tracks as well as those of a muskrat. Neither animal will hibernate, so skunk and muskrat tracks will not be an uncommon sight throughout the winter.
Lastly, Weber wants to know if we should go for the record for most snowfall in December. The record is 44 inches. This year, at the halfway point, we're already at 30 inches. "Should we go for it?"