27 January 2015

Let it snow ...

A couple of inches of new snow fell today, but it wasn't enough snow to bother the local neighborhood deer. The deer's fur is such a good insulator that the snow on their back doesn't melt.

26 January 2015

More snow on the way

The last couple of snowfalls to hit the neighborhood have just been "nuisance snows". Barely enough snow to shovel, but enough snow to make roads messy.

So far this year the snow storms have dumped more snow to the south of us. The weather forecast is for a major snow storm to again dump more snow to the south and east of us. Our current forecast is 4 to 6 inches of snow over the next couple of days, but a change in the storm's path could increase the amounts.

Snow from the last storm clinging to a seed head of grass.

24 January 2015

Sunset

The weather for the last couple of weeks has been cold and cloudy, and you may have noticed I haven't posted too many updates this month. I've spent the last couple of weeks indoors, enjoying the heat from the wood stove and planning some warm weather projects.

 We may have received a couple of inches of fresh snow overnight, but today was the first warm, sunny day in a long time, and the day ended with a very colorful sunset.

08 January 2015

Brrrrr ...

The weather for Joyce Road for the first week of January 2015, has gone from 49 degrees F on January 4th to zero this morning. This morning's cold isn't too far from the normal temperature for January, but the 49 degree day earlier this week made it feel a lot colder.

A temperature graph from my online weather station.



27 December 2014

Winter Weather ???

Winter is officially here, but you wouldn't know it from the current weather. Temperatures have been in the 40's and 50's for the past couple of days and the ice and snow of a couple of weeks ago is gone.

15 December 2014

Red Squirrel

On a recent walk through our woods after the latest snow storm I found this red squirrel surveying his neighborhood.This little guy seemed to be stunned and confused by the snow, and not the typical hyperactive squirrel.

13 December 2014

Searching for Food

The recent storm has left the ground covered with snow and the neighborhood wildlife has to spend more time and effort searching for food. Deer have to dig through the snow cover to reach the tasty grass.



This pair of deer are sniffing out their next meal.






10 December 2014

Raccoon Visit

I thought a very large grey cat was on our front porch, but I soon realized it was a raccoon.



As I watched, the raccoon crawled onto the support under the bench and started to take a nap. Upon closer investigation the raccoon was looking for a place to sleep off a bad encounter it had with a porcupine.

08 December 2014

Bittersweet

The bright outdoor colors of Spring and Summer have faded into dull greys and browns, but the bittersweet vine stands out like a hunter's blaze orange vest.



While the bright orange fruit of this vine may add color to a drab environment, it comes with some undesirable side effects. The oriental bittersweet vine (Celastrus orbiculatus) is an invasive, non-native plant which is crowding out the native American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens). Once established, the oriental bittersweet vine engulfs other vegetation, slowly killing it. Oriental bittersweet vines wrap so tightly around their victims that the trees are strangled and the vines grow so dense as to block sunlight from other plants.

02 December 2014

Bobcat

It's the first week of the PA deer season. I haven't bagged my deer yet, but I was able to get a couple of quick photos of a bobcat.



Not sure what the bobcat has in it's mouth.

28 November 2014

Snow

The weather for the past couple of weeks has been a repeating freeze/thaw cycle. A week ago, Miner's Pond was froze solid, then a couple of days in the 60's and now the first major snow of the season.



We've had a couple of "dustings" of snow this fall, but this was a very wet, sticky snow. A view of our deck with 10+ inches of snow.



How sticky was the snow? A picture of the snow clinging to our mail box.

24 November 2014

Hard Water

The temperature was 12F here on Saturday morning and after a couple of days of bitter cold weather Miner's Pond was froze solid. Some warmer weather and a light rain came the next day and left a coating of water on top of the ice. This flock of geese may have thought they were landing on open water, but found "hard water" instead. After a short stay on the pond the flock went in search of another water source.

16 November 2014

Ice on the pond

This fall has been warmer than normal until this weekend. The cold weather from the north has moved into the neighborhood and ice is starting to form on Miner's Pond. A flock Canada geese was checking out the first ice of the season and maybe thinking of moving south for warmer weather.

15 November 2014

Knock! Knock! Who's there?

The day was cold and overcast, but otherwise clam and a good day for a walk in our woods. It was a very quiet day and I started to hear what sounded like someone hammering in the woods. As I approached the source of the hammering I soon discovered a Piliated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) looking for a meal. It was easy to spot the brightly colored woodpecker against the dull grey and brown background of trees.



Some of this woodpecker's handy-work as it looked for bugs and grubs in dead trees

13 November 2014

'Tis The Season... Already???

You wouldn't know it from this week's November weather, in the 60's, but a local "big box" home improvement store had Christmas decorations out before Halloween and other stores are starting to run their holiday specials. As if those hints weren't enough, the holly bush next to our house is showing-off it's holiday colors of bright red and green.



Our holly bush is loaded with bright red berries this year and you can't miss it as you walk by.