According to many sources, today is roughly the middle of the heating season, although there’s the more pessimistic old adage that says you need to still have half your wood and half your hay on Candlemas Day, which is February 2nd.

Both male and female downy and hairy woodpeckers are supposed to begin their territorial drumming around this time, now that the days are getting longer. But some have been heard practicing over the past couple of weeks.

The per day change in day length is at a low around the solstices: it’s changed less than a minute per day since December 9th. Starting today, the increase in day length is more than a minute per day and it’s going to increase to about three minutes a day until we approach the summer solstice.

Loggers on a neighboring property worked all day today. Suitable weather for logging is not as reliable as it once was, so holidays take a back seat.

Proving once again that a hard rain is the best way to get rid of snow. Our 8 inches or so of snow was reduced to zero to 2 inches overnight. Creeks are rising.

Most Christmas tree growers sold all their trees a while back. Has Covid somehow brought out a longing for the sweet smell of balsam?

It seems impolite to mention it, but it’s not inexpensive to keep our fleet of little birdfeeder birds fed.

Snowshoe hare are packing down their main trails. Single-use paths peel off in what looks to be a random way, but there may be a plan.

Snowy owls have recently been seen in Vermont. We’ve all heard that they leave their arctic home when food there is scarce but another reason for these erratic irruptions might instead be that they occur following an unusually successful breeding season – successful because of an abundance of prey.