Changing weather

Wednesday we had the warmest day so far this year, but there’s a cold front on the way. The front is moving from the west, but after a short shower, the eastern sky gave a hint of change to come.

rainbow_4mar15

There was a complete rainbow, but I couldn’t get the entire bow in the frame. The other side was behind some trees, so it was hard to see anyway. There was still a little of it left when I took the dogs out later.

sky_4mar15

Despite our high up here of around 67 on Wednesday, we are under a winter weather advisory for Thursday. We are at the southern edge of the advisory area, so I doubt that we will see much frozen precipitation.

Gate birds

Leah and I were at the Tractor Supply store near Rome a couple of days ago, looking for a possible new cat house, when it kind of gradually dawned on us that there were a lot of birds chirping nearby.

littlebirdsCan you see them on top of the stack of fence gates? A whole flock of little brown birds, either wrens or sparrows (I can’t tell the difference). I’m not sure why they were sitting there. It was a gray and slightly misty day, but it’s possible the stack of gates might have collected enough solar heat to give them a little extra warmth.

I listened to the songs of the wren and sparrow at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, but I can’t tell which sounds more like what I remember of these birds’ song.

It was odd to see them there, but the funny thing was that they sang as long as we didn’t look at them. When we looked at them, they fell completely silent. It we looked away, they began to sing again. Shy little birds.

 

Snow days

We had a nice snowfall Wednesday evening and night. We had seven inches by the time it stopped.

deck table snow

Chloe apparently has some insulation on her rear end.

chloe snow walkI like it when it snows here. We get snow so infrequently that it doesn’t really get too inconvenient. That makes it possible to appreciate the beauty. It also opens a new world where the passage of wild animals is no longer secret. I took Zeke for a short walk Wednesday afternoon when there was less than an inch of snow on the ground. Here’s what I think is a set of rabbit tracks.

rabbit tracks

These are what I know for sure are fox tracks, because I saw the fox dart across the road.

fox tracksThe tracks led straight up the driveway into our new property.

Thursday morning I took Zeke out again; I left Lucy at home because her belly would have dragged in the snow the whole way. There was a fox set of tracks that started at the point where Fouche Gap Road crosses the top of the mountain. We followed them most of the way down to the bottom of the mountain. The tracks stayed mostly in the half-buried tracks left by a truck late Wednesday afternoon. Occasionally they took off up the slope of the road cut, and then turned around and came back down to the road.

snow tracks

The zigzag tracks are Zeke’s. I’m not sure whether another animal joined the fox occasionally.

It’s hard to capture what the eye sees because our visual system is so good at image processing. I tried to get a hint of it with this panorama.

snow panorama

There was significant melting Thursday, but there was a lot of slush and water left on the road that refroze, so it was tricky to walk on it Friday morning. I took both dogs, but turned around after a short distance. I think the rough ice was too much for Lucy’s delicate, little feet. It should be all clear by Saturday morning, despite another hard freeze Friday night.

Friday Felines

We were really surprised Thursday morning. The Atlanta TV weather forecasters expected us to get around five inches, but we didn’t believe it. Instead we got seven.

The cats all went out in the morning. Mark saw Smokey walking in a crouch across the driveway. The snow wasn’t as deep on the driveway, but it drifted up against the garage door so deep it was hard for the cats to come and go.

smokey stalking

He looked like he was stalking something. He was. Rusty was his target.

smokeys prey

That’s Rusty, with Chloe standing a little ways off.

Rusty turned to meet him.

rustyturns

He doesn’t scare Rusty.