We may not have extreme cold conditions on the coast, for which I am ever so thankful, but we have a damp kind of cold weather that seems to seep right through to the marrow.
These past few days several weather changes have occurred. First, it was almost springlike as the perma-grayness of the sky cleared one day and we caught glimpse of the sun so far south and low on the horizon that I knew it was still shining hard on Mexico. This glimpse brought several large flocks of robins to our area. They were busy turning over fallen maple leaves, and picking at the odd bug on the ground, but mostly they were after anything that looked like a red berry. Pyracantha, viburnum, mountain ash, cotoneaster, and holly–they didn’t care what it was as long as it was round and red.
Then the fog rolled in and the robins sat in the trees like ghosts.
The next day it was a bit chillier and still the fog covered the land like an ice blanket.
The following day, the fog was still here. Perfect setting for a spooky movie as darkness settled in. The temperature dropped another degree or two and the air was raw.
By morning the dampness had settled on every surface and frozen in place.
I leave my herb garden in a mess in the fall ever since I saw a few desperate songbirds picking at seeds one winter. I thought it makes no difference to me if I cut plants back and tidy up in the fall or in the spring, but it makes a big difference to the birds. This fennel has only seeds left and those should be dark brown. If they look white here, it’s only because of the ice that has frozen on each seed.
A bird would find nothing to eat here as long as the frost covered the seeds.
When the small twigs of trees and shrubs freeze like this, it makes browsing very hard for the deer. Chewing on icicles is not very nourishing or warming.
These are not necessarily a deer’s favourite twigs to eat, but I hoped to show how they ice up when the fog has wet them and then the temperature drops. It’s hunger days for the animals. Time to put out the birdseed and cracked corn.