I was working over by Camp Peet yesterday and saw something that has deeply confused me. At first I just saw the great circling Raptor and let it pass as “oh yeah, they love here too.” Then on second consideration, I realized, “what the hell are you doing here?”
Turkey Buzzards are native to Ohio and even have their own festival in Hinkley on March 15. Traditional wisdom claims that they return there on that day every year. My own observations over the past decade has shown that, initially, they arrived here in Conneaut a day or 2 before then. Never before have I seen one in February. Certainly not this early in February. Feb 10 to boot!! I’m no meteorologist or ornithologist or any ologist, but I know in my heart of hearts that something very strange is going on. We are cooling out our 2nd batch of maple syrup and looking for another flow to happen shortly. Traditionally, Sugar Maples aren’t tapped until Valentines day around here. Never in JANUARY. This winter was supposed to be cold cold cold and wet. We have gotten our share of wet, rain mostly, but almost none of the cold that we have had in the last few years. I doubt the temp has gone into the single digits here yet. Lake Erie never froze and even the ground never really got frozen more than a few inches. This is opposed to last year when the Lake was 95% frozen and the frost was approaching 40-50″.
Something is going on. Only time will tell us and I figure we won’t know till we can look at it in hindsight.
What can I say? Keep your head on a swivel, your knees bent and a bag packed. Eyes open, no fear.