Saturday, April 20, 2013

This is Spring?

After an early Spring, a blazing Summer, and a crackling dry Fall last year, we have had a nearly snowless Winter followed by this long, cold never-ending "Spring."  Seriously, it snowed again yesterday.  We only got about 4" (10 cm) but parts of the state were hammered by over a foot (30 cm) combined with nasty winds to blow it all around.

The birds that stayed the Winter barely noticed our attempts to feed them but those who came back expecting Spring have flocked to our yard.  We had so much left-over bird seed we filled a pie tin to feed the squirrels.

Perhaps the most unusual surprise is that a pair of mallards decided to make a nest in our front planter box.  We will see how this turns out.  The hen lays an egg per day until some magical timer goes off in her head and she decides to start warming / hatching them.  The goal is to have all the little ducklings hatch at the same time.  She is up to seven eggs so we shall see if our duck couple sets up house for real.  We are at least 10 blocks from the nearest water so the march to the river with the ducklings will be quite arduous. (Yes those are decorative lights and yes I know it's April but that is also snow on the ground.  sigh!)

And NO! This goofy weather does not dent my analysis of climate change.


  1. This link has an interesting discussion of the effects of melting Arctic ice on winter/spring temperatures:

    Summary: Several climate modeling papers have forecast that melting/no arctic ice will allow very cold weather patterns to emerge over Canada, Central/Eastern US, and Europe in the Winter and Spring. This is due to the emergence of particular high and low pressure system configurations that tend to stagnate. Extremely worrying to me, since it will mean that lots of people will see this and say "there's no global warming!"

    1. Found a pretty good discussion myself from Minnesota Pubic Radio. I even know the guy who wrote it—a superb meteorologist named Paul Huttner. He calls this spring an example of "global weirding."