Winter News

The temperatures have taken a nose dive. It’s a good twenty degrees colder today than it was yesterday—and will remain so for the next week or more. The high today will be near 50º which is average for this time of year.

If you lived up north, close to the Canadian border, that’d be a shirtsleeve day for sure. But we’re here in North Carolina, and after a week or more of 60’s and 70’s (with lows around fifty), it feels darn cold. The high today will hover around the 50º mark.

I must admit that after having spent many years working outside I’ve come to the conclusion that the optimum temperature range for physical labor out-of-doors is the fifties. At those temperatures there’s no sweating or no numb fingers from the cold—not too hot, not too cold.

On the natural side of it, this past week’s high temps brought out spring peepers, and even a few chorus frogs. Spring peepers are early breeding frogs. A couple of winter nights with temps in the fifties unfailingly triggers an appearance by these tiny tree frogs. Upland chorus frogs typically wait till February and March to breed, but the temps of the last few weeks managed to even persuade a few of them to have a look around.

Spring peeper.
Upland chorus frog.

Also enjoying the sunshine, were yellow-bellied sliders (top banner). These aquatic turtles are likewise prone to easy awakening in winter. Sunshine and lows in the fifties is stimulus enough to get them out to catch some rays. They were out sharing a log with the local hooded mergansers.

The drop in temperature to our regular winter averages will not doubt send all of those creatures back underwater, or into the leaf liter of the forest. But, as I type and look out my office window I see a bright sunny day. I suspect there’ll be a few turtles out on the logs again today.

See you out there!

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