Wrapping Up 2022: Seen In 2 Weeks

Pastel sunrise on 14 December 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

31 December 2022

The end of the year was a weather yo-yo from warm-ish winter to bone chilling cold to 60 degrees yesterday. Photos from the last two weeks span Pittsburgh and Virginia.

Above, a pastel sunrise on 14 December in Pittsburgh was followed by above freezing weather. It was so warm that by the 17th I found a bench gnome in Schenley Park and blooming trees at Carnegie Museum.

Whimisical gnome beneath a stone bench in Schenley Park, 17 December 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)
Flowering cherry in bloom at Carnegie Museum, 17 December 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

That evening it dipped below freezing and stayed cold through sunrise on the 21st. The blossoms did not survive.

Frosty sunrise on 21 December 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

And then it got Nasty cold.

To avoid the coming winter storm we drove to Virginia on Wednesday the 21st. On Thursday in Virginia it poured, on Friday it turned sharply cold.

Finally on Saturday in Virginia Beach the temperature reached the mid 20s in the afternoon so I took a walk and found a young male common yellowthroat with bright yellow throat, olive back and shadow mask (sample photo at left). A warbler(!) had survived the coldest night of 13 degrees F and was gleaning dead insects from the sunlit grass. He was on the path in the photo at right, but of course we cannot see him.

There was a common yellowthroat warbler here in the grass! Lynnhaven Park, Virginia Beach, 24 December 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

On 26 December when I visited Back Bay NWR there were thousands of waterfowl including tundra swans, gadwall, wigeons, black ducks, ring-necked ducks, scaup, ruddy ducks, and coots (see checklist here).

The freezing weather had created odd ice formations above the water.

Ice on the reeds at Back Bay NWR, 26 December 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)
A closer look at ice on the reeds at Back Bay NWR, 26 December 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

At sunset in Smithfield, VA on 27 December it was comfortably above freezing. I put away my parka.

Sunset in Smithfield, Virginia, 27 December 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

No coat necessary while we drove home on 28 December. And there was a beautiful sunset in western PA.

Sunset along the PA Turnpike, New Stanton Rest Stop, 28 December 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

The week ahead promises warm temperatures with rain all day for the Christmas Bird Count. Erf! Will I find the crows?

(common yellowthroat photo from Wikimedia Commons, all other photos by Kate St. John)

2 thoughts on “Wrapping Up 2022: Seen In 2 Weeks

  1. Just sitting here and enjoying your year end wrap up photos. Thanks for all you do to make each day a little brighter in broadening our knowledge of the world of flora and fauna.
    Have a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Looking forward to your posts for another year! God Bless!

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