Monday, January 9, 2012

Winter According to What?

What a weird season this is turning out to be...

As we start the second week of the new year (2012?! *gulp*), it mostly looks like winter out there. Mostly. But then you look again...

Okay, so a warm winter's day can usually coax daffodils and irises (here, invasive but lovely yellow flag) out of the ground even if it isn't in their best interests to do it.

But fennel?

And coral honeysuckle? (Native; you must get this stuff! The plants coming up through the mountain mint on the sunny south side of the nature center were even sending out new leaves.)

Blooming honeysuckle and warm spells that continue to produce flights of flying things great and small (from gnats to bats) might explain the continued presence of an immature female Rufous Hummingbird (a species well known to wander widely from its western range) in Goshen, New Jersey, USA on December 23, 2011, when this photo was taken. She made it through a 14° night and its subsequent sub-freezing day, and was still present on January 6th.

In Winter's defense, it was flurrying--snow: frozen precipitation--today, January 9th.