Colder Weather Continues, Along With The Controlled Burns

It has continued colder, with a low this morning (Wednesday) around 35 and a forecast high of 67.

The colder temperatures seem to have put things on hold. My old sarvis is still in beautiful bloom, but the younger ones haven’t bloomed yet. The redbuds are hanging on, and there is no sign of the dogwoods. The soil temperature at two inches, as reported from Mercier Orchards, is 42.1, so this makes sense. In contrast, it was 58.3 on March 16th.

We had a Blue-headed Vireo singing sweetly to us yesterday, and we’ve had the thrill of having a big Red-tailed Hawk perching nearby on a limb up above the valley. I’ve rarely had the chance to observe them perched for long periods, as I usually see them soaring above the valley. It was interesting to watch him ignore the one dive-bombing crow that showed up to hassle him, before he jumped off the perch to dive into the valley, presumably after some prey. Interestingly, he had a black face mask, not unlike a Cardinal, which doesn’t show up in Sibley or any of the photos in Crossley’s raptor guide.

The controlled burning continues. Yesterday, there were burns on Rich Mountain, about six miles south of Blue Ridge and near Calhoun. The smoke from the Rich Mountain fire was noticable yesterday afternoon, but it seems clear so far today.

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