Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Real Thing?

We've had a series of small "winters" this year, but none, until now, seemed like what we need. Namely, lots of stored water for the forthcoming season of agriculture, fishing, and all-around recovery of drought-stricken and otherwise abused ecosystems. I woke up this morning to nearly a foot of new snow - see top photo - and various amateur and professional forecasts of another week of this kind of weather. Coming to work on a day like today is topped only by hanging out at the barber shop for discussions of weather. The reactions range from anger to delight and various sideways responses not on the spectrum. As a naturalist who is always looking forward to the next spring, I can both lament another delay and admire the many kinds of critters who are adapted to surviving winter. I can only imagine the various critters that spend the winter a foot or more underground, that is, unless I want to get out a pick-axe and dig for them. I get frequent reminders when I split a few more rounds of firewood and find larvae and adults of various insects inside some of them. I have breathed on these inactive critters long enough to bring them back to life, so to speak. I take a few photos, then stick them back into what little holes I can find to give them another chance to make it through the winter. They'll end up in the wood stove one way or another, but let's not think about that.
So, here's to everyone who enjoys this weather. To be honest, I even enjoyed the drive to Greenville today. It was a bit slippery, but I was careful. There have been and will be lots of wrecks today and in the coming days. Impatience, mostly! Arrogance, sometimes. I hope none of them hit me.

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