Tag Archives: junco


It first turned cold for a few days cold.  We had good frosts and a couple of inches of snow, which made the road very drivable.  I even brought my van home.

1 fresh snow on road

The fresh snow and colder temperatures meant that hiking was suddenly much easier, although it was necessary to leave early in the morning when the frost was hard.

2 icy pussy willowThe bushes in the swamp were starting to emerge from their winter blanket.

3 patchy snow in swampIt was a race against the sun.  As soon as it broke through the clouds, the going would get soggy.  I climbed onto the south bluffs.

4 FP from bluffThe slopes facing the sun were now bare of snow.

5 bare bluffThe river sparkled in the sun.

5a riverThe lake across the road had lost the loose snow on top and was turing blue-grey.

6 ClearwaterThat night, the sunset was visible again (very unusual all winter) and it almost cleared Nogwon – When it climbs over the summit, it will be the equinox.

7 sunset NogwonThe full moon was buried in cloud – I have not seen a full moon set for 6 months.  I had to be content with a waning moon.

8 moon surniseThe cold spell lasted only a few days.  Then we were promised a megathaw – daytime temps up to +13C, strong warm winds, and even a bit of rain.  A good time to sprinkle a winters’ worth of ash on the garden in the sunniest spot, to get it to thaw quickly there.

10  ash on garden 1Within 3 days, the ground was bare.

12 garden 2The big snowbank in front of the house finally dropped enough to reveal the rocks in the rock garden.

11 rock garden appearingThe first junco appeared.

10 JuncoIt is usually a toss-up as to whether the juncos or the redwing blackbirds arrive first.  This year the blackbirds won by about 3 weeks.  Juncos are ground feeders so I guess they were waiting for the thaw.

Yesterday I drove the road again.

13 yesterday puddlesI was amazed how much bare ground there was, and how firm these patches were.  Usually, the mud is slop for a while.  But I guess, like last year, the ground was so dry before the winter came, that the frost did not go deep into the ground.

Winter, however, is just reminding us not to get too complacent.  This morning we had a few lazy flakes of snow.

14 ffresh falling snowBut once the sun came out, they soon melted.  There’s still a lot of snow in the bush, but now the ground in front of the cabin is open.

15 snow nearly gone