Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The "Yo-Yo" Season

Male cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) and common finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)... winter bright spots. Posted by Picasa

"You have to believe in happiness,
Or happiness never comes ...
Ah, that's the reason a bird can sing -
On his darkest day he believes in Spring."
~ Douglas Malloch, You Have To Believe
The weather has evolved into what I call our "YO-YO" season. Finally, the temperatures reached 50℉ for a few days and then it was back into the low 40's for a while with a four inch snow just two weeks ago. Then there was this past Friday... a balmy, sun-drenched but slightly breezy day more reminiscent of late May or early June; temperatures soared to 78℉. I started pruning back the roses and cutting back the remaining winter debris and (drum roll please).. I planted 100 tulips. I know. Late again. But at least this time the bulbs weren't completely mushy and all had started their sprouting process in the garage. We'll see.

Yes, I have once again strayed off subject.. weather. So, Friday was warm enough to get a sunburn... Saturday was still in the 60's but the wind was no longer a breeze but a stiff gale with gusts and blowing in from the north and west. I opened a window to about six inches in Nyssa's room and one in Stephen's room and my room to get a nice cross breeze. With this six inch opening the wind was strong enough to blow papers off a dresser in the room's interior.... I finally put a paper weight on them. So, Saturday felt brrrrrr cold.. simply from the wind chill. Sunday... highs back in the low 40's. Today? The mercury topped out at our house around 76℉. Wind was predicted with this but for most of the day.. it was really calm, cloudy and most pleasant. I worked outside pruning all the potted plants and finishing up the roses.

Around 4PM I was sitting out on the deck and taking photos of the titmouse, nuthatch, chickadee and the downy woodpeckers that decided to visit the feeders and just enjoying nature. The change was dramatic and sudden. From complete calm to a sharp wind from the northwest. From 76℉ and feeling comfortable in a short sleeved summer shirt to feeling a deep and slightly damp chill in the air. The temperature fell almost 20 degrees in just under an hour.. you could sit and watch the temperature sensors number fall like a rock. By 9PM it was 40℉ outside and windy. This wasn't a normal cooling on a clear day when the evening creeps in.. it has been cloudy all day. It was definitely a cold front and a strong one... so far, no rain; but I see on the map that once again places north and east of us, in Delaware and Maryland, there is ice and snow. I have seen fronts come through before, but have never personally experienced such a sudden change in the air temperature and wind speed in such a short time. Fronts come and go.. this one was physically noticeable.

You see the "YO-YO" don't you...78...62...40....75....45....etc. Such is late winter in coastal Virginia. I think these birds, however, will like it just fine... as long as no more snow comes our way.... yo-yos they can handle.

(end of post)
Ruby Tuesday


Ginny Hartzler said...

The exact same thing here today!!! I made fun of Phil, as usual, for wearing a big winter coat outside when it was 65 degrees. But turn about was fair play about  7 o'clock, when it was 40 degrees and windy and I was freezing and  in my ight jacket. Love your birds, I see you caught the cardinal mid-chew!

Gemma @ Greyscale said...

We mightn't have your snow, but our summer has been a yo-yo of temperatures too! A little summer on some afternoons and the rest of the day demanding perhaps an umbrella or at least a jumper! So weird!

Love your photo of that cardinal!

Sandra said...

oh no, i do so hate yo yo weather, that is what we always had in Savannah, this is the month for that, a lot like your weather. i am loving our weather since we are in day 5 of what i call Perfect. wake up to just under 60, highs of 80 or higher, no humidity, no bugs, light breezes. just perfect. but another few short weeks an the tropical heat and humidity will come. i am really enjoying these days. hope yours gets better soon and that those tuips all bloom at one time, what a sight

c said...

cute bird...

Your newest follower,

Leora said...

I love your cardinal. Yes, we've got up and down temps, too! Today was up.