Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Last Red Rose Of Autumn

Although cloudy, it was balmy shirt-sleeve weather today, but I have lived too long in Iowa to be fooled by this pleasant day, for the cedar waxwings are here. Lying in bed this morning, I could see them flitting through the treetops in the garden, and knew at once we were in for it. Usually they show up on a cold, wind-tattered day in November, moving through our garden like a wave, devouring every berry in sight for energy, then, when the garden is bare, they fly on to the south, driven by wintery weather moving in from the prairies of Alberta. I have never seen them here this early, so knew something unusual was afoot, and it turns out the cause of the waxwings early migration began in the Sea of Japan several days ago: two tropical storms combined forces in that far place, and moved rapidly northward, where they raised huge waves in the Gulf of Alaska, and crashed up against, then passed over, the Chugach Mountains. The blow was so great, that it has buckled the jet stream, forcing winds of 150 miles an hour aloft, racing straight south, down into the heartland. Our temperature will drop 50 degrees by tomorrow night, with bitter, gusting wind and blowing snow, turning temperate fall into cruel winter before the leaves have even changed color. The cedar waxwings dribbled into our garden and woods all day, until there were perhaps a hundred... there was no sound from them, just steady and purposeful eating of as many berries as they could hold. They then gathered in the tops of the tall black cherry trees to see what the night would bring: it was telling that they all seemed to be facing to the north, as if to discern what was following them. Tomorrow they will all, as if at a signal, depart at once; circling once over the pond they will fly rapidly over the south ridge and be gone. One second the garden will be filled with flocks of these sleek, masked birds, and the next moment it will be empty except for the gentle peeping of the chickadees. I will cut the last of the roses tomorrow, and bring tender plants into the greenhouse. It is raining steadily now; normally a pleasant sound, but the waxwings and I will both sleep uneasily tonight.Posted by Picasa

Your scaring me Iboy.....

Im not quite ready for winter, my BRUG just opened its first bloom last night and I have to go dig it up now so it doesnt freeze tonight. UGH.
GGG... It's coming... Doo doo doo doo! I think you folks to the east of it may get it worse than us.

I think those further north in the UP of michigan are going to be slammed. Here, we probebly wont get any snow to stick, but the wind is supposed to be wicked on thursday and friday.
very interesting observations. in hindsight, we certainly did see weird weather, with the most southern parts of our Niagara Peninsula and the Buffalo area getting that dumping of snow!
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