Gales! Hail! Gullywashers! Is winter here?

Nov 9, 2021 | 0 comments

Columbus Day Storm, 1962

I don’t think it just my protesting old bones or my fading memory.  I really think that the weather has turned ferocious earlier than usual.  One big storm toward the middle of November or maybe even a freaky October uproar like the Columbus Day Storm of 1962, maybe…  But usually, we don’t really start noticing winter weather until we have the Christmas decorations up and most of the holiday shopping and planning taken care of.  Or perhaps I’m misremembering.

If that’s  the case, the chickens are confused right along with me.  They aren’t eager to leave the coop or their run on these gusty mornings and they hunker back near the cypress tree during the day — close to their open gate and food and water and the sheltering safety of the coop.  They haven’t even come to the East Door asking for treats from Farmer Nyel — not for several weeks now.  I wish they’d tell me if they have some insider information about what’s coming.

Stormy Weather at Cape D.

The deer people, too, have kept a low profile for the last week or so.  It’s probably because they have completed their clean-up of the pear blow-down.  Not a pear in sight now and the last big wind didn’t harvest any more.  I think that they’ve all lost their grip, ripe or not, and the deer have taken care of them, ripe or not.  (I wonder if deer get belly aches?  Or do their multiple stomachs take care of the possibility before it becomes a problem?)

As for the bear people and other local hibernators — snakes, slugs, snails, skunks, for instance — they are keeping a low profile.  I don’t know if they’ve decided that winter is arriving early.  Except for the bears and slugs, we seldom see any of those critters.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen a skunk around here since I was a little girl and one was living under our woodshed.  “She and her babies are very polite,” my grandmother always said.  “Just give her a little warning before you go out there for firewood… just in case.”

Wind Damage in Oystrville, 2017

It’s not that I mind hunkering down early.  I don’t even mind that the power goes out occasionally or that my aches and pains seem more noticeable in the cold and the damp.  It’s just that I hope it’s not going to become the new normal.   Or, if it is, could Spring please come early, too?

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