Madison got the first measurable snow of the season last night (about 5 inches in my neighborhood). Welcome to winter.
The other day I visited the conservatory at Olbrich Gardens, to soak up some humidity and see a little color during this bleak period of winter. I did take some pictures of the flowers, but what really caught my eye was this tiny, young leaf basking in the sun.
It was so good to see new life growing, even though there were bitter cold temperatures just a few yards away.
The morning after Madison’s first inch or so of significant snow, a few colorful leaves can still be found.
The past few days, we’ve had long-overdue seasonal temperatures in Madison. As I watched the bright sky turn to twilight along Lake Monona yesterday, I wondered… is the sun setting on this long winter?
It’s a good thing I don’t put any stock into the groundhog’s ability to forecast the weather, or all the shadows I saw today would be very depressing.
Up until last week, I assumed that robins did not spend winter in Wisconsin. Last Saturday I was walking through the outdoor space at Olbrich Botanical Gardens when I saw a flock of about 15-20 birds hanging around a large tree.
I first noticed them in the upper branches, backlit by the bright sky. From that vantage point, they looked like starlings. However, as I got closer I discovered they were actually robins.
Madison is in the middle of at least a two day stretch of below zero temperatures. Last night the low was -18 (fahrenheit), and the high today was -11. One of the things I find amazing during brutally cold stretches like this, is the ability of small creatures to survive.
It’s incredible to me that a small bird, like this American Tree Sparrow, manages to stay warm enough to get through these bitter cold days and nights. Another one of nature’s miracles.