Weather Whiplash

As it turns out, “April, April” isn’t the only month that “does what it will” (click on this link to one of my previous posts). A record high of 97 ⁰ F (36 ⁰ C) for Colorado Springs on Sunday, September 6 was followed by a slightly cooler, smoke-filled Monday from fires that are devastating what seems like the entire American West. A cold front that blew in from Canada Monday evening helped disperse the smoke, but temperatures by Tuesday had plummeted 50 to 60 ⁰ F (10 to 15 ⁰ C). In the course of the day it started to snow, and the following morning the region awoke to 4 to 12 inches of fluffy snow. The moisture from this precipitation was this storm’s only redeeming aspect, as it helped control some of the forest fires and lessen—if only minimally—our drought. Clouds, fog, and mist permeated our skies until Friday, an unusual occurrence in and by itself in this “City of Sunshine.” By the weekend, the thermometer had climbed back into the 80s.

With people dying or losing their homes to wildfires, hurricanes, or other disasters I’m not complaining about the erratic weather with regard to myself. But I’m saddened by the sudden death these abrupt changes portend for some flora and fauna. Plants, even though their blooming cycles will come to a premature halt, might have the ability to recover. Not so some critters. Reports and personal observations of exhausted, dying, or dead birds were the most heartbreaking news that resulted from this wintry interlude. Migratory insectivorous birds on their way south had to rest, and instead of finding essential fuel to power them through their hundred- if not thousand-mile-journey, were trapped, with too many hungry mouths to feed and too little sustenance. A sense of desperation prevailed among their last-ditch efforts not to starve. Masses of exhausted birds along the side of the road were covered by snow plows and perished. News of a similar nature continued to pour in, but I couldn’t keep reading them. Instead, I kept refilling the bird feeders in our yard and watched as tiny hummingbirds parked themselves near the nectar-holders to get them through another cold day.

I know this is not a positive post, but I don’t feel positive. Extreme weather events on this earth are only predicted to worsen. Unless we mend our ways, which we don’t. Not really. A few half-hearted assertions here and there, some wishy-washy legislation that is circumvented for a million spurious pretexts. We are a short-sighted species with little regard to what happens beyond our collective umbilical view. The saddest things about our destructive ways is that we are taking countless other creatures down with us.

To enlarge a photo, click on it. To read its caption, hover the cursor over it.

Exhausted Bank Swallow.

As I don’t think there is anything to “like” in this post, I have disabled the like button.

74 thoughts on “Weather Whiplash

  1. I’ve felt that overwhelming sense of sadness today too, for similar reasons. It’s tough so many things are going wrong for many humans and animals. On the other hand I very much like your photo of the snowy red/white rose!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Desperate news, very, very sad. Extreme weather events are a natural phenomenon, but there’s no doubt in my mind that man’s activities make them more frequent and more severe. Nature will fight back given a chance, but we must give Her a chance. As a species we need to get real, and the politicians – our so-called leaders – need to get a grip.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I couldn’t help noticing the two ways to interpret “news of a similar nature.” The one you intended is ‘news of a similar kind,’ while the second supposes the existence of another Nature out there, one that is similar to but not the same as the Nature we normally interact with.

    As someone not familiar with the ways of birds, I have to ask how you could tell that the one in the last picture was exhausted. I’ve seen birds puff up their feathers in cold weather to stay warmer, but that doesn’t necessarily imply exhaustion, does it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s always intriguing to learn about the little details you notice and ponder, Steve. I wonder if there is a “similar nature” out there, somewhere. Maybe in a parallel universe? And maybe its supposed caretakers are taking better care of it than we in our universe.

      As far as the swallow, you are absolutely right. Birds often fluff their feathers to stay warm. But this swallow, and many other insectivores on that day, simply seemed desperate to catch something to eat, and there was little, if anything. The bird also had its lids closed. I don’t know how else to say it, but I really had the sense that there was desperation in the air.


  4. My ‘like’ means ‘wholeheartedly agree’…and I worry that we’re ignoring the damage we’re doing to the planet and will cause huge suffering to all living things, humans included in the future. At the same time, we mustn’t let a feeling of hopelessness stop us from taking any action we can.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The strange times we are having with climate and pandemic would make anyone feel sad, Tanja. On a positive note, an early snow sometimes helps plants to prepare for the cold weather to come. Many years ago we had snow in June in the north of Scotland – it was some strange weather from Siberia. We are weary with the tropical storms but thankful not to have fires. I am thinking about you. K x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Schöne Fotos! Die erinnern mich an die Zeit, als ich in Kanada gelebt habe. Das Weihnachten da war einfach malerisch! Wenn das kanadische Wetter, deutsche Weihnachtsplätzchen und die traditionen meiner griechisch-orthodoxen Freunde zusammenkamen, das ist mir bis heute eine schöne Erinnerung! Vielen Dank fürs Wecken 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Danke für Deinen Kommentar, Gerry. Wenn es sich nur um den Schnee gehandelt hätte, hätte ich mich auch dran erfreuen können, doch die damit verbundenen Wetterextreme und die Konsequenzen für viele Tiere durch den Kälteeinbruch haben mir die Freude am Schnee genommen.
      Grüße nach Deutschland,


  7. Wow, we all know that weather in Colorado can be erratic but snow in September?? That’s kinda crazy… and then back up to 80?? For weird. I do feel bad for all those pretty birds 🐦😕
    Hope you feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Karin. We always talk about the toll natural disasters take on humans, but we often fail to consider that countless animals will either perish outright, or be left without habitat and food, which usually means a death sentence as well. It is heartbreaking.


  8. Negative or sad posts have their place, Tanja. Unfortunately, we are bombarded with disappointment and tragedy daily and I don’t blame the media (or bloggers) despite what others may say. We should know what is happening in our world even if it is disheartening. Some days it is just hard to remain upbeat especially when our one solace, Nature, is herself under attack. Gentle beings are suffering through no actions of their own. Humans too although we are partly to blame for what is happening.

    But, as they say, tomorrow is another day and one must always keep hope up that things will become better even when it seems much is stacked against us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment, Steve. Yes, what is happening to Mother Nature is disheartening, indeed. And what is most disheartening is the fact that there are still people who deny that humans bear any responsibility at all for what is happening. For any meaningful change to happen we all have to cooperate. And how likely is that to happen?

      Liked by 1 person

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