El Niño

Are you having a crazy winter where you are? We’ve been through El Niños before, but this year is something else.

Temperatures have mostly hovered right around zero or above. It took nearly half the winter before we had snow of any significance.

Sun rising over snow covered farm

But it only lasted a little while before the temperatures shot up again and everything melted. (Note how even the grass has maintained its green).

Farm after snowmelt

Every so often, temperatures drop back into the polar vortex territory that we experienced for the previous two winters. But then they invariably rise again.

Thermometer showing -20

The wildlife is not reacting well to the fluctuations.

We had an extra cat take refuge in the barn. And snakes are coming out of their dens only to freeze in the snow.

Dead snake in the snow

On behalf of the local wildlife, Ralph came out of the barn to investigate where winter went.

“No, I don’t believe I see any snow on this ground here.”

Ralph looking for snow

Not trusting his sister’s bad eye, Bax came to help her look.

“Nope, I do not see any snow either… And I think I’m sitting in mud.” (He was.)

Ralph and Baxter looking for snow

A month from today we will officially be into spring. Do you think we’re going to have a winter between now and then?

What’s winter been like where you are? Are you seeing any unusual wildlife behaviours? Anyone want to join Ralph’s and Baxter’s search party?