Archive for December, 2016

ceiling light


Yesterday’s Phenology: Another day largely gray, in the thirties, with few birdies, dirty snow down below, though in the dusking we get a dusting.

Song of the Day (and goodbye, good riddance 2016): Richard and Linda Thompson, Shoot Out the Lights.

frosted grass


Yesterday’s Phenology: Blustery! and warmish (30s). The 30 mph winds made it seem like it was a bit cooler than the low 30s. Snowflakes were seen, occasionally, but not enough to say that it was snowing. They were like scouts.

Song of the day: Ravi Shankar, Yehudi Menuhin, Twilight Mood

soup season


Yesterday’s Phenology: Spring returns to the Twin Cities. Temp in the mid to upper 30s, and the sun shines down warmly on the inhabitants of our fair cities. Took a few walks today, and noted only crows, crowing around, tree to tree, mocking the poor flightless humans below.

Song of the day: Jethro Tull, Wond’Ring Aloud

very small sled dog…


Yesterday’s Phenology: Sunny. Cold. Slippery. Birds crowding at the feeder. Crows keeping an eye on everything. Cold.

Song of the Day: Loudon Wainwright III, Man & Dog

every year we sit around the hearth with big bowls of smoking bishop, and read the christmas classic…


Yesterday’s Phenology: If you are looking for a wintery day, today was pretty good. All the sidewalks nicely coated with ice. An icy wind gusting up to 30 mph. Snowflakes falling here and there, and blowing across the icy street in currents. Winter.

Song of the Day: Prokofiev, Troika

morning glory


Yesterday’s Phenology: I did not venture out much, as, getting the Sunday paper, I noted a shiny layer of ice everywhere. “Good day to stay home,” I says to meself. It was another gray and mid-30s day, until later in the afternoon when it rained quite a good bit. Not something we like to see in December. Let alone on Christmas day.

Song of the day: Merv Griffin, Christmas City!

dashing through the snow…


Yesterday’s Phenology: Another day of changing climate. Mid 30s and grey, large pools of water filling the sidewalks and the streets, waiting for some subzero temps to become skating rinks. Ho Ho Ho! Took a brief walk in the woods, and not a creature was stirring. Merry Christmas!

Song of the day: Bing Crosby, David Bowie, Little Drummer Boy

hidden moon


Yesterday’s Phenology: Gray and damp. Snow in the morning, but too warm for it too stick around much, then, later drizzly and foggy and mushy and a bit slippery out there and gray like foggy old London town, back in the day.

Song of the day: Luciano Pavarotti, Ave Maria

the annual picture of the frosted echinacea


Yesterday’s Phenology: Another dirty warm winter’s day. Somewhere in the middlin’ ranges of the 30s. Sky like ash or ash-colored slate, or maybe a dreary grey flannel, sprinkled with ash. The morning was a bit sunnier, I guess, though. I walked around the pond in the late afternoon. Nary a beast did I see. Distant crows caroled: four calling birds?

The day seemed no longer than yesterday.

Leonard Cohen: Famous Blue Raincoat

frost on the pumpkin


Yesterday’s Phenology: A lackluster day, gray, breezy, mid thirties. Our snow is looking bedraggled and stale.

Song of the day: Greg Lake, I Believe in Father Christmas

minnehaha creek, fall


Today’s Phenology: Temps skyrocketed to 37 today. People were out in shorts, washing their cars, talking about what a hard winter it was. A bright sunny day. Wildlife is scarce. At least, in my little gray cubicle.

Song of the Day: Sun Ra and his Arkestra, Pink Elephants on Parade

beached leaf


Yesterday’s Phenology: Out of the blue, today, the sun came out, and it was oddly warm. Up in the 20s? Compared to -20, it was like springtime. All it takes is a little perspective, I guess.

Song of the day: George Harrison, Out of the Blue

november dawn


Yesterday’s Phenology: Just plain cold all day. High temperature was -6. Day started off sunny and then went partly cloudy in the afternoon. The sun is so low in the sky that it’s easy to miss, behind a house or a tall building. -10 now, as night settles in. Again, sparrows lined up at the birdfeeder, shivering in their thin little winter coats, waiting for some bird seed.

Song of the Day: Brian Eno, Music for Airports



Yesterday’s Phenology: Cold, but warming up during the day. Started out about 2, I think, and now it’s maybe about 10. But also snowed throughout the day, a slow powdery snow that’s built up to about 4 or 5 inches now. Supposedly it will snow through the night, and then get a bit colder. Didn’t notice any wildlife today; hopefully they are all hunkered down someplace cozy.

Song of the day: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No  1, Winter Day Dreams

cloudy night


Yesterday’s Phenology: Winter is here. A lowly 3 degrees when I woke up. Temp peaked at about 5. Bright winter sun, and a stiff wind pushing waves of snow over the frozen white landscape. Yup. Winter. Supposed to be -11 tonight, with wind chill of about -30. I went out for a brief walk this afternoon. How do those little birds stand it?

Song of the Day: Harold Budd, The White Arcades

dawn on Maplewood pond, about a month ago


Yesterday’s Phenology: Not so bad, actually. (Can phenology be good or bad? No, not really. It should be objective observations of the what transpires, unsullied by value judgments.) None the less, not too bad. About -7 when I got up, and got up to a high of about 7. Sunny. Snow piled up everywhere. A rather pretty day, and we are all acclimated to the temperature. Not that we don’t complain about it. But really, we’re used to it. And they are predicting temps in the -20 range in a few days, so we will enjoy the mild -7 while it lasts.

Song of the day: Barry and Beth Hall, The Holly and the Ivy

winter trees, winter morning


Yesterday’s Phenology: Actually sunny for a good part of the morning. That might have cheered everyone up a bit, except it was only about 5 degrees or so, and nobody was happy about that. Especially on a Monday. So there you have it. The roads were much more driveable today, as long as you were sensible about it. It clouded up in the afternoon and threatened to snow, but then mostly didn’t. Chipmunks and Squirrels are seen shoveling their little paths through the park. They are also grumbling. Shaking their tiny fists.

Song of the day: Bruce Cockburn, Happy Good Morning Blues

winter is here


Yesterday’s Phenology: There was light snow falling all night, and so we woke up on Sunday morning to about 7 inches. It was a dry light snow, and quite beautiful. I take all the credit for this, as I had asked Max the day before, “Do you think we’ll be getting any snow before Christmas?”
Everyone out shoveling and snowblowing. It would have been a perfect day for cross-country skiing, but didn’t see anyone thus occupied. A good number of folks on fat-tired bikes, though. Everyone was busy digging out. The roads were very messy, but everyone seemed to be taking their time and being careful.
We went for a nice walk with the wee dog. It was a pleasant day, about 20 degrees, notalotta wind. Wee dog charges through the snow like a little motorboat; 7 inches of snow is about up to his chest. Colder tonight, and for the next few days, they say…

Song of the Day: Trip Shakespeare, Snow Days

dog park day


Yesterday’s Phenology: Okay. Winter is here. Officially. Temp got up to maybe 19 or so yesterday. Perhaps a moment of sun in the morning, and then back to the comfort of the gray clouds, like a nice flannel sheet covering us all. Tiny snowflakes starting to sift down in the late afternoon, like powdered sugar, and everything is dusted white at this point, as the temperature drops. The snow will continue, they say, through the night and through Sunday, and then it will turn colder. Yes; all the signs of winter.
Saw a big flock of something – starlings – flying east to west in the afternoon. Perhaps not organized enough to be a flock, but a lot of birds, barely visible against the darkening gray sky, silent and flying in bunches to the west. Where were they going? I also could hear geese overhead, but couldna see them for nowt.
Fresh snow is always good for animal tracks. This evening, walking Flynn, we saw dog tracks. Flynn was interested.

Song of the day: Tommy James & The Shondells – Crystal Blue Persuasion



Yesterday’s Phenology: Cold. Gray, largely. Not real cold. Pretty cold. But not Minnesota Winter Cold. Still, since we are not yet acclimated to it, it is Plenty Cold Enough. High of 19 today, currently 11. Cold enough. Moments of disorienting sun, but not enough to be dangerous. 93% gray skies, and roughly 72% cold. Christmas is sneaking up on us, and there is scant snow on the ground.

Song of the Day: The Mama’s and the Papa’s, California Dreamin’

on Golden Pond


Yesterday’s Phenology: It rather feels like Winter is here, though lacking snow in these parts. A chilly 17 yesterday morning, as I waited in the darkness at the bus stop at 6:20. I remembered waiting at the bus stop all those years ago, high school, junior high, -20, snowing, pitch black. Thought nowt about it. Those were the days. Cold throughout the day, still breezy, the wind sneaking over from the blizzard in NoDak. Still darker than yesterday. To work in the dark, working through the day in my dark cold little cubicle, dark as I go home at night. The Theater of the seasons. I took a look at the pond this morning, frozen over, and ducks and geese sitting out on it looking morose.
(The picture above, of course, is from a few weeks back. I hope those two flew south after their stroll around the pond.)

Song of the day: Bob Dylan, Girl from the North Country

Newly Discovered by Archaeologists: thousands of years ago, at the dawn of the TV age, there was a thriving village on this ancient site…


Yesterday’s Phenology: Winter may be here. The temperature hovered in the low upper mid teens today, but the 20 – 30 mph winds made it seem more like zero. Dry little snow flakes flew by occasionally, as if to emphasize the fact that it was pretty darn cold and windy. In the late afternoon a brilliantly bright object appeared briefly in the sky. Many fell to their knees in wonderment or fear. But then the clouds came back and life went back to normal. The radio weather guy said something to the effect that there is an endless supply of very cold weather coming our way.
Oh boy.

Song of the Day: Bob Dylan – Boots Of Spanish Leather