Back to winter

We returned from wet, but very green California, to a very dry brown and gray Twin Cities landscape, but then immediately drove 100+ miles north to spend a long weekend in the Gull Lake area north of Brainerd for a return to a snowy winter landscape.

New snow, breezy point, MN

There is something especially attractive about freshly fallen snow clumped on tall pines, with beautiful blue sky and white clouds above.

New snow, breezy point, MN

I never thought I would say that I miss winter, but it’s true this year — during the winter that wasn’t.  Our weather columnist reports that “Twin Cities winters are now 5.4 degrees warmer than in 1970”.  True fact:  Minnesota’s climate is warming, making it more like Missouri than the Minnesota of 50 years ago.  True fact:  “February 2017 has set over 9800 records for warmth across the U.S., compared to just 250 new records for cold”.  (Star Tribune weather, Feb. 27, 2017))

new-snow-breezy-point-mn

Without snow cover and with record warm days, the ice is melting on MN lakes sooner now.

Last week, our newspaper reported that 500-1000 small pan fish (crappies) had succumbed when lake ice melted and near-shore water warmed, leaving the fish without adequate oxygen.   Great for local Bald Eagles, not so great for the fish populations in warming lakes.

As climates change, animals and plants get out of sync with their normal cycle; e.g., birds begin migrating and breeding before prey populations are present to support their offspring and plants bloom before or after their pollinators are present.  Climate changes are a challenge for all of us.

black-capped-chickadee-

Lots of singing going on in the backyard this week…seems a little early to me for the Chickadees, but maybe I’ve just been paying more attention to that lately.

More on this subject in an interesting article on Vox today:  “these maps show how early spring is arriving in your state”.

6 thoughts on “Back to winter

  1. I don’t “like” hearing of the detrimental effects of climate change for sure. Your Northern Climes are going to see more of these annually I fear, especially in the next years coming up. But I do love seeing your beautiful photographs of snow & pines. The one of the chickadee is wonderful. We have that merry band with us year around here in Western North Carolina.

    • Thanks for commenting, sorry I didn’t see this comment sooner. Funny I didn’t realize that I actually missed winter — the snow part, not the sub zero temps.

  2. Thank you for the lovely photos. I don’t remember how I got to your blog but am glad I found it. I look forward to your comments and photographs.

    • We seem to be in the see-saw weather pattern here, some days warm, some days cooler, but the plants are not fooled. Nothing budding out here!

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