Friday, December 16, 2011

Come On Honey, I'm Bored

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - everywhere I go.  Well, perhaps not everywhere.  In the wild Midwest (the Midwest isn't all that wild - but the wildlife in the Midwest): 

Raccoons den up and breed during snow storms.  Mr. Raccoon, "Come here honey, I'm bored."

North American bats hibernate.  Screech and Barred owls call (should you be outside in the evening).  Gray squirrels start mating and continue through February (talk about busy).  Red fox and raccoons breed.  Evening grosbeaks visit feeders.  Unbred does enter second estrus.  Badgers will dig up, kill and eat hibernating woodchucks.  Rabbits use abandoned dens during heavy snow.  Bald eagles move toward open water at locks and dams.  Skunks sleep during weather of 15 degrees or colder.  Beaver feed on sapling reserves.  Whitetails form winter groups.  Canada geese start migrating into southern Illinois.

All this breeding during the cold winter months is not all that different than humans.  The month where most U.S. babies are born is September - during that cold snowy dark winter, men say, "Come on honey, I'm bored."

On December 1st, we entered into the Meteorological Winter or the three coldest months of the year.  Temperatures usually drop at least 10 degrees (on average) during December.  The average snow for the month is 8.4 inches.  2000 saw 32.9 inches.  1889 saw none.  We are currently below average.

The record low temperature for December was minus 24 degrees in 1924 and the record high was 71 degrees in both 1970 and 1982.  Typical average lows are 17-25 degrees and average highs 32 - 41 degrees. 

I'll be looking forward to year end averages and comparisons.  Right now I'm like the rest of the little kids in the Midwest:  I'm wishing for snow for Christmas.

Here's a funny from the facebook page of "The Heirloom Gardener - John Forti"  Whole lot of work for a joke, but, I sure did enjoy his humor. 
Hundreds gather to protest global warming!

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