Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Where is summer?

Depressed Meadowlark
My trip to the beach last week produced some good bird sightings. By that I mean that I saw some birds I hadn't seen for a while and that I was delighted to see. What I didn't mean was that I saw these birds very well. I felt like I needed a flashlight to go birding at noon.

Well it is winter. At 45 degrees latitude you subtract 23 degrees (tilt of earth on axis) in December. At NOON the sun is only 22 degrees above the southern horizon. Add layers of dark drizzly clouds. Make it damp and foggy. It always feels like dusk in winter. Not dawn--that implies that if you wait it will get lighter. No, dusk. You better look now because it will be too dark to see if you wait.

I love Oregon--the ocean, mountains, deserts, fields, and forests. I live in western Oregon in the verdant valleys below the temperate rain forests. I love it especially from May-July, when it is sunny and warmer, yet not too hot. Later September and October are nice, too. Frankly, though, even though it is the winter rains that make the rest of they year so pleasant and green, I feel like the depressed-looking meadowlark above... I can't wait until summer!