.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Outdoors

  • Hardy dandelions are among spring’s first blooms

    February has arrived, with more snow. If I can be patient for one short month, it will be March and hopefully more spring-like.

    People often ask what the first flower to bloom in the spring is. I have always answered with the three earliest blooming native wildflowers around our immediate area. They are the Easter daisy, which often blooms in late February and which is soon followed by mountain candytuft and spring beauty.

  • Spring buds will make an appearance soon

    Dreary cold January has just about dragged itself to an end. I hope February is a better month. Even though it is still winter, February usually has more sunshine, which always lifts everyone’s spirits and makes them feel like spring is coming someday.

  • Yellow-bellied marmots act like Eastern groundhogs

    Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day, a day that doesn’t have much significance here, but it does in the Northeastern states, especially Pennsylvania, where it started.

    The myth is that if the groundhog comes out of his winter hibernation on Feb. 2 and sees his shadow, he is frightened and goes back to sleep for six more weeks. But if it is a cloudy day and he does not see his shadow, he will stay awake and spring will come early.

  • Small signs of spring appear despite cold weather

    January is flying by with severely cold weather.

    January is the coldest month of the year, according to the National Weather Service, and it certainly has been this winter. Many nights have been well below zero, and the wind-chill factor has made some of them feel as cold as 20 below.

  • Two gray birds dominate during winter season

    It is the beginning of a new year. I keep falling behind in things I must do, and one of them is this article. With the long holiday period, I am completely confused, and now I realize this article is late. I apologize, but it is difficult to keep the days straight. So, my New Year’s resolution is to try to get each article in on time. If some week it doesn’t appear, just realize I haven’t met my deadline and the newspaper has, quite rightfully, gone to press without it. I shall try to do better.

  • Weather was a gift during Christmas Bird Count

    Last Sunday, Dec. 20, was the annual Christmas Bird Count. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was clear, sunny, warm (34 degrees when we started), and it warmed more as the day progressed.

    There was no wind at ground level, which made it seem even warmer, but the two lenticular clouds in the north told us there were very high winds aloft. I expected the weather to change, but except for a thin overcast in the late afternoon, it remained much the same all day.

  • Winter solstice heralds the coming of spring

    Looking out the window, I still see snow on the ground, and we will have snow for at least three more months. However, this past Monday, Dec. 20, was the changing point, and yesterday was the beginning of the change, the winter solstice, or the first day of winter.

    That’s the day my husband, Bill, used to call the best day of the year because it meant that from that day forward every day became a bit longer, and this meant spring was on its way. The best time of the year.

  • Flickers a nice addition to feeders in winter

    During the bitter cold spell we had in early December, my friend Amy, who helps me with things I can no longer do myself, looked out the window and said excitedly, “What’s that big bird on the feeder?”

    From the way she said “big” and her excitement, I thought it must be a hawk or an eagle, something really big. So I grabbed my binoculars and found myself looking at a northern flicker. Of course they are big, 12 to 15 inches long, compared with the chickadees and juncos that were also there. Flickers are truly beautiful.

  • Eagle sightings not so rare in Genesee

    A few weeks ago I received a phone call from a lady who lived in the Genesee area who said she had just gone outside for a short break, and looking up at the beautiful blue sky, she saw a majestic bald eagle flying over.

    I was so pleased that she had called to share her excitement with me for it is so much more interesting if you have someone to share your sightings with, and I, too, have seen bald eagles flying over near Genesee.

  • Where have all the grosbeaks gone?

    Probably the question I am most frequently asked by people who have been feeding birds in the area for many years is, “Where have all the grosbeaks gone?” I wish I could give them a good answer, and I also wish I could bring them back.

    First, I try to ascertain that they are referring to the evening grosbeaks because we have other grosbeaks in the area. Usually they describe them as the fairly big birds that are yellow, white and black, and used to come to feeders in droves.