Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Update #4: Breakin' Records

Jan 19- Jan 29, Arnold Arboreum, Jamaica Plain, MA
record-breaking low temperatures (-22C with windchill!!), more snow!

In the last 10 days, several pressing questions have been answered:

Q: Do birds sing in sub-sub zero degree temperatures (coldest Boston temps in six years)?
A: Yes! Even at record-breaking single digits F (negative teens Celsius!), the chickadees, jays, and robins were still out and busy, tweeting and foraging.

Q: Is sunrise over a snowscape worth writing home about?
A: Yes! Take that rosy glow that we like so much on the tree branches, and dust the white white snow with it. Beautiful!

Q: Is there any variety to winter cheeping, or is it just the same old, same old for weeks on end?
A: In fact, I discovered two new calls this week, still to be identified:
(recordings pending!)

Q: Why would anybody consider getting snowshoes instead of cross-country skis?
A: They also allow you to traverse deep snow without sinking to your mid-calf or knee with every step, they are cheaper, and most importantly: your hands are free to wield your audio recorder/camera/binos.
This is a theory that I hope to test out!

Q: What is a serious winter like?
A: Aha, I finally get it! My fifth year in Boston is showing me what real winters are made of. Snow every week, piles so high we don't know where to put the next snow, roads reduced to half their normal size by snow banks, car-owners perpetually cursing, the car-free blissfully carefree, and still-white everywhere. So cold that it's the main topic of conversation and a point of bonding just to see your fellow human beings bundled up and equally miserable. Even the pigeons are poofed 50% fatter to stay warm. This is exciting (for now, anyway)!


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