It’s a beautiful clear morning. For the first time since it started to snow, I can see Hemptop and the Big Frog in the distance. There was some snow melt yesterday on the south facing fields and roads. Cutcane and Dean roads get the sun almost all day, and they look fairly clear, although I haven’t seen any traffic on them. The roads that don’t get any sun are probably a different matter, so I imagine some people will still have trouble getting to or from their cabins. The porch temperature is 8. The forecast high is 27, with a wind chill of -2. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a another good day to stay off the roads.
There have been some interesting reports on the ebird alerts. One of our local birders reported a first-of-season Pine Siskin in Mountaintops. And a report out of Blairsville noted a number of birds at the feeders: “I haven’t been seeing a lot of birds here at our house lately, not compared to prior years. However, they seem to have found us this morning with our 5 inches of snow on the ground. Not a ton of each but several species – juncos, titmice, brown thrasher, white throated sparrow, song sparrow, cardinals, chipping sparrows, goldfinch and what I believe were 3 purple finches. It’s hard for me to distinguish between purple finches and house finches, but these had a lot more reddish coloring than usual. Also the first pine siskins of the winter. We filled feeders late yesterday in prep for today. Of course, the doves, chickadees and white breasted nuthatches are around, along with the carolina wrens.” The speculation is that the storm pushed some of these birds south for the first time.