Arb Sightings 12/17/09

Posted on December 17th, 2009 by

Now that the daily temperatures are back on the positive side, it appears that the latter half of this month will be warmer than the previous. The forecast for the next ten days predicts relatively dry weather with highs consistently in the mid- to upper 20’s, so we shouldn’t be seeing anymore below-normal temperatures for a while. The snow that has been on the ground for a couple weeks now has turned very dusty and powdery, which is good news for cross-country skiers; however, moderate to strong winds can pick up this light snow and create dangerous snowdrifts on highways.

Most of nature has already settled into its winter “sleep mode,” which means there are no more leaves to be found on our deciduous trees (except the residual oaks), any exposed grass is colored yellow-brown, and the wetlands are all but frozen over with several inches of ice. This will be the look of the landscape here in the Arb until well into March when the first significant spring thaws will occur.

Here are some highlights from this week in the Arb:

– Late flock of 10 Mallards flying south over Interpretive Center 12/15

– Black-capped Chickadees making very frequent visits (once every 20 seconds or so) to sunflower feeders behind Interpretive Center 12/16

Black-capped Chickadee at sunflower feeder behind Interpretive Center, 12/16/09

Black-capped Chickadee at sunflower feeder behind Interpretive Center, 12/16/09.

– Six squirrels feeding on fallen seeds in Bird and Butterfly Garden (consisting of five Gray Squirrels and one Red Squirrel) 12/17

– Eastern Cottontails sheltering in Canada Yews behind Interpretive Center 12/16

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**Due to the college’s winter break, the next scheduled update of “Arb Sightings” is Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010.

 

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