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.
That evening it dipped below freezing and stayed cold through sunrise on the 21st. The blossoms did not survive.
And then it got Nasty cold.
To avoid the coming winter storm we drove to Virginia on Wednesday the 21st. On Thursday 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.
By 26 December freezing weather at Back Bay NWR had created odd ice formations above the water.
Here’s a closeup.
At sunset in Smithfield on 27 December it was comfortably above freezing. I put away my parka.
No coat necessary while we drove home on 28 December. And there was a beautiful sunset in western PA.
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)