Monday, November 7, 2011, 2:55PM
50ºF, clear, light breeze
Having looked at our weather forecast for the coming week, there is a very real chance that this might be the last phenology photo you see with no snow in it (we’re actually under a winter storm watch for the next thirty-six hours). Today, though, is clear and surprisingly warm, despite the fact that the sun already has an early-evening slant to it at three o’clock in the afternoon – on Sunday we set the clocks back an hour here in the U.S. Sunrise today was at 6:45AM, which I admit did make it easier to get up this morning, and sunset is at… brace yourself… 4:34PM. That means today we have only nine hours and forty-nine minutes of daylight, nearly a half an hour less than last Monday.
My mom asked for a photo that showed the rock I sit on at my phenology spot. There it is, at the bottom of my awkwardly pieced-together vertical panorama. When I walked up to my spot this afternoon the chickadees were practicing their songs – don’t they know what time of year it is? The composition of the local bird community continues to change as winter approaches, with Gray Jays showing up on campus last week. Still waiting for redpolls to get here.
Also, while I admit there are no tamaracks visible from my spot, another phenology note is that the tamaracks on campus have lost nearly all of their golden needles, meaning the very last of our autumn color is just about gone.