Winter, Winter Go Away

Bird Feeder Blurred By Snow
Bird Feeder Blurred By Snow

I love Texas. Don’t get me wrong. I was born, bred and raised here and have spent most of my life in the Lone Star State. That being said, I’m not always a big fan of Texas weather. The weather in Texas doesn’t just change from day to day, but from minute to minute. And from region to region. Each part of the state has its own type of weather. If you’re reading this post, and you’re from Texas, you can attest to that. As an example for those of you who aren’t inhabitants of this great state, here’s the weather forecast for my town (which is located in the region of Texas variously referred to as the Rolling Plains, the Panhandle Plains, the Central Plains, the North Central Plains, West Central Texas, the Red River Valley, North Texas or Texoma depending on the source) for the next seven days according to our local weather service:

Quite the mish-mash of weather to look forward to for the next week! Is it proceeding according to the forecast so far? Well, snow has been falling all day and the current temperature is 19°F, so I guess so far so good. Or bad, depending on how you look at it. We desperately need the moisture. Unfortunately, the type of moisture we’re getting right now will do nothing more than soak into the ground. And that’s great! But it doesn’t do anything for the watershed. We need a copious amount of heavy rain to fall over an extended period of time, to fill the streams that fill the rivers that fill the lakes. Hopefully some of the predicted showers and thunderstorms forecast for the beginning of next week will help with that. We can only wait and see.

Birds were out in abundance this morning, filling their stomachs with food to keep up their energy during this cold spell. These two House Finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) decided to stake out one of the thistle feeders and didn’t let any others near until they ate their fill.

House Finches (Haemorhous mexicanus)
House Finches (Haemorhous mexicanus)

There was a virtual smorgasbord of other birds as well. Those stocking up on seed below include Eurasian Collared-Doves, also referred to as Ring-Necked Doves (Streptopelia decaocto), White-Winged Doves (Zenaida asiatica), European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus).

Various Birds
Various Birds

The Daffodils (Narcissus) and Bearded Iris (Iris germanica) don’t look too happy right now, but the precipitation will do wonders for them in the long run.

Daffodils and Bearded Iris (Narcissus and  Iris germanica)
Daffodils and Bearded Iris (Narcissus and Iris germanica)

I’ll probably venture outside again a little later to restock the bird feeders, but with the chill factor hovering around 6°F I don’t plan on staying out there too long! Wherever you are — stay warm!

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17 thoughts on “Winter, Winter Go Away

  1. Here in Central Texas we need moisture as well. I just went out to put water out for the birds. All the birdbaths have evaporated with our currently way too dry winter weather. Wouldn’t it be great if March could bring a shift in the large systems back to some regular rainfall before the heat arrives!

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  2. Yup, yup and yup. Weather in Texas is weird and inconsistent–except in summer when it’s hot. We’re hovering just above freezing in Austin, though there’s freezing rain in the forecast for the next 15 hours or so. We need rain. It’s been dry this February. I guess I shouldn’t complain though, considering the drought you’re experiencing. Stay warm.

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    • Summer. HOT. Yes. Our pretty snow has turned to off and on showers of icy pellets and freezing rain or something in between this morning. It’s supposed to be this way all day. Thankfully once the temperatures get above freezing tomorrow it will turn to just rain and the snow/ice will most likely disappear quickly! This has been the longest, dreariest winter I can remember… But what a good day for hot chocolate and a good book!

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  3. Goodness, stay warm! We’re just in the raining-just-above-freezing part of Texas. It reminds me too much of the long wet winters growing up that I’m nearly scraping at the sky with my finger nails to bring on the sunshine.

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    • We tend to have quick warm-ups for a day or two following cold and snowy weather. Then when the next cold front comes through the warm and cold air clashing tend to make it interesting. I must say that I think this winter has been exceptional in that way. Everyone has been complaining about how long and dreary the winter has been and how they just want some sunshine!

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  4. Well I’m not going to moan about it been cold here in the UK again !! but would love to see the birds you have photographed… Keep warm.
    Amanda xxx

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  5. I always get amazed seeing snow in the south and west. You really have had some chilly weather there. Feeding the birds is a nice hobby when it gets cold outside, but they sure do go through the seed when he temps drop. I do hope Texas gets rain though. Too many years of drought. I am always saddened when I see the cows out on bone dry pasture. I saw where ranchers were having to sell off cattle in Texas because the drought conditions were so bad.

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    • And aren’t those of us in the south quick to moan and whine about it!? I actually love the snow…in short spurts. And so true about the bird seed. I had a chance to get some at a good price last week and passed on it since spring is so close and the birds need to start depending on themselves again — but now I wish I’d gotten at least one more bag! You’re right about the cattle sell-offs. Some of it’s not so much that enough pasture can’t be grown to feed them, but that when that does dry up at the end of the season there are shortages of hay and grass feed. Many ranchers and small cattle owners have had to buy bales from out of state at exorbitant prices. Another reason for the rise in the cost of beef (which I don’t eat!).

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