Archive | Animal Life and Plants RSS for this section

Upgraded and Expanded “Conservation Rewards” Proposal for Government, Individuals and Families to Reduce Wisconsin’s Fossil Fuel Burning Emissions Aired on WORT-FM, Madison, Radio’s “Public Access Hour” Show Monday, August 15th, on 89.9 FM, and Streamed on www.wortfm.org, from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CST

You can listen to this one-hour music and narrative on this proposal and by going to the wortfm.org achives for August 15, 2016, the “Access Hour” radio call-in show, to hear songs of hope and despair about climate change, global warming, and our country and the world’s progress in ensuring (or not ensuring) world sustainability for people, plants and animal.

People must stop their actions that promote living just only for today as if tomorrow doesn’t matter.

A plan for all governments (state; federal, other entity who may wish to contribute) is proposed that would provide annual rewards (cash incomes) to individuals and families who take personal action to reduce their annual fossil fuel burning actions in transportation (cars; airplanes; household purchases) and in heating their homes and using electricity use from power plants that produce electricity derived from fossil fuel burning (coal; natural gas; diesel oil generators)

wortlogo

Tune in to 89.9 FM around Madison, or log into http://www.wortfm.org anytime and anywhere to hear and hopefully enjoy the show. Please join me and Bruce Springsteen in making “High Hopes” for all Wisconsinites and hopefully others a true reality in reducing  the growing threats of climate change, rising income inequality and poverty, and excessive militarization of in the world by the United States of America.

“Love is always the answer.” – Mississippi Charles Bevel, written on cover of his excellent CD called “Not of Seasons” that he sent personally to your’s truly, recorded 2000. The beautiful cover song “Not Season” has a very poignant  message – we ought not forget it. It reminds me of Elvis Presley’s song “In the Getto” written by Mac Davis.

Song: “GO“, CD:  “COME ON NOW SOCIAL” [Inspirational]

Rio Olympics, Brazil – 3 Good Reasons for Calling Off the Games – NOW!

co2airplanes

Three Reasons why the International Olympic Committee ought cancel the games immediately (in no particular order of importance):

1. Russian Team Doping Scandal

2. The zika virus is being spread by mosquitoes in the state of Florida.

3. Jet travel to and from Rio de Janerio’s airport will dump millions of tons of greenhouse gases high into the atmosphere – FREE OF CHARGE!

July 4th (or any day!) is a Good Day to Initiate Positive Changes in our Economy and Environment

bald-and-golden-eagle-information

This post is being offered as a work in process. Readers are encouraged to submit constructive comments, all of which will be considered in final development of the post.

The inspiration for this post has come from: University of Wisconsin professor Bassam Shakhashiri, who has informed so many children and adults in the Madison area through his “Science is Fun” shows.

The post is also inspired by the Steve Miller Band’s performance of the song “Fly Like an Eagle”, played to a full capacity Breese Steven Field venue in Madison, Wisconsin, on July 1, 2016. The song can be heard and the lyrics read by clicking on the above description. It is well worth listening too and applies more now due to all the strife in the world than ever before.

Due to wars, poverty and the threatening and dangerous changes to climates around the world (23 people died from extreme rain fall and flooding in West Virginia), president Obama and other world leaders have told us actions to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are “urgent”. Certainly, former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson (1916 – 2005) founder of the first Earth Day, held April 22, 1970 (and every 46 years thereafter on April that same date), would see little to celebrate our country’s 240th birthday today.

Record levels of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and oceans, leading to deadly heatwaves, storms, and record levels of global average temperature. Travel via driving and flying contribute more than one-third of the U.S.’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a study by Sabrina McCormick, Jaime Madrigano, and Emma Zinsmeister: “Preparing for Extreme Heat Events: Practices in Identifying Mortality”, published in April 2016 in the journal Health Security, the authors make the following assertion:
“Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme heat events. These events affect cities in increasingly abrupt and catastrophic ways; yet, many of the deaths caused by exposure to heat have gone unnoticed or are inaccurately identified, resulting in a lack of urgency in addressing this issue. We aim to address this under-identification of deaths from heat waves in order to better assess heat risk. We investigated death records in New York City from 2010 to 2012 to identify characteristics that vary between deaths officially categorized as caused by heat wave exposure (oHDs) and those possibly caused by heat (pHDs). We found that oHDs were more often black and of a younger age than would typically be expected. We also found that there was a lack of evidence to substantiate that an oHD had occurred, using the NYC official criteria. We conclude that deaths from heat waves are not being accurately recorded, leading to a mis-estimation….”

Science shows us that the global warming is contributing to higher sea levels and a 30 per cent increase in the acidity of the oceans, leading to declines of species and in losses to fishing and tourism industries, worldwide.

Meanwhile, poverty  and income inequality in the United States and elsewhere are having devastating effects on millions of individuals, families and so many unfortunate children. A recent study shows children growing up in poverty suffer permanent brain damage.

President John F. Kennedy told us in 1961 to”Ask not what your country can do for, ask what you can do for your country”. The best thing U.S. citizens can do everyday is to minimize their daily and annual greenhouse gas emissions.

The Declaration of Independence, adopted by the Second Continental  Congress on July 4, 1776, reads as follows: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …”

Our government officials at the state and federal level have failed in not passing legislation that meaningfully reduces Wisconsin and the U.S.’ catastrophic levels of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. What is needed is that our government at the federal and state level should by now have enacted programs which offer meaningful positive financial incentives (dollars) to the public to reduce total annual motor vehicle driving, flying, and using electricity and heating that have been derived through fossil fuel burning.

Reducing the amount of fossil fuel burning in the state and country would have “cost reducing” benefits as well, such as reductions in oil spills, train derailment explosions, and the financial and cost of expanding highways, airports and fossil fuel fired power plants.

Burning fossil fuels, whether this is done in highway motor vehicles, jet airplanes, sea going ships, recreational motor boats, gas or coal-fired electricity generation plants,  or in furnaces to heat one’s home, has a pronounced adverse effect on public and animal health, worldwide, by increasing breathable air particle pollution while at the same time adding to the record high and ever growing, catastrophe creating, quantities of heat generating greenhouse gas volumes in the atmosphere.

The mounting volumes of these gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous  oxide) are known to be warming the planet, accelerating rising sea levels around the world, causing more acidic and warmer oceans (bad for sea life and coral reefs), stronger and more costly and deadly storms (Hurricane Sandy, Houston, TX and West Virginia floods), and unparalleled drought and wildfires (California , Alberta Canada, Africa, Australia, Middle East, which has led to major upheavals in countries’ economies, population migrations and known calamities of major human and other life fatalities.

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), monthly global average temperatures for May 2016 were the highest recorded monthly average global temperatures recorded since the agency initiated monitoring Earth’s monthly temperature values  in 1880, setting a string of consecutive record high monthly average temperatures for our Earth’s combined global ocean and land surfaces in the 137-year record.

May 2016 was characterized by warmer to much warmer than average conditions across Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Central America, northern South America, northern Europe, Africa, Oceania, and parts of southern and eastern Asia, according to the Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles map above. Areas with record warmth included much of Southeast Asia and parts of northern South America, Central America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and northern and eastern Australia. Near- to cooler-than-average conditions were present across much of the contiguous U.S., central and southern South America, and much of central Asia.

The sooner that people living today accept the fact that their own actions – such as driving gasoline and other greenhouse gas emitting fuels powering their highway motor vehicles, and choosing to fly today’s jet fuel (a fossil fuel) powered airplanes, and using electricity derived from burning fossil fuels and burning natural gas (another fossil fuel) – and deforestation and cement paving  and other human activities that are known to be adding to the already known dangerous and abnormally high concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and warming and acidifying of the earth’s oceans – the better off  things will be for all future life on Earth.

atime

 

The Documentry: “Racing Exctinction”

According to leading scientists, the earth is in the midst of its “6th extinction”, and only a major societal, political and economic change away from an extraction, exploitation, and conservation minded citizenry will prevent the otherwise inevitable.

Trailer for the Documentary: “Racing Exctinction”.

Viewed at Sundance Cinema, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Madison, Wisconsin and highly recommended to anyone who cares about the dangers jeopardizing all earth’s species should the status quo be upheld.

Sponsor by Endangered Species Coalition; Friends of Wisconsin wolf; International Crane Foundation; Wolf Watcher Coalition; Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison and Dane County; The Humane Society of the United States; Alliance for Great Lakes Wildlife; Alliance for Animal; The HO-CHUNK NATION.

bald-and-golden-eagle-information

Listen to “Fly Like an Eagle” by The Steve Miller Band

Historic Showing of Global Warming and Its Causes and Effects This Wednesday Night, May 25, 2016, in Madison at the Barrymore Theatre

atime

Unless things change really greatly, AND FAST!, and we all together put the brakes on our fossil-fuel-burning-dependent world economy, NOTHING ELSE WILL MATTER! Doing so will not only be for the better now, in 2016, but it will be far better for the sustainable living of Earth’s future populations, other animals, and all other forms of life.
The film “This Changes Everything” is a MUST SEE for all who care about making the right decisions now, and in the future, for the good of humanity.

The new Avi Lewis film will be screened at 7 p.m. tonight in the Barrymore Theater, 2090 Atwood Avenue. The film delivers a powerful message on climate change through the language of floods, storms and droughts. Sponsored by the Madison Institute, 350 Madison, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Sierra Club.

Sadly, we are all now witnesses to the realization of global climate change, predicted by many dedicated global warming scientists over a number of years, as well as by other strong minded and conscientious individuals (some who are no longer with us). Those who dared to voice their concern about society’s almost mindless burning of fossil fuels in virtually all the economic sectors, especially for electricity, heating, transportation, and frivolous recreational pursuits, were systematically ridiculed, demonized or simply (and purposely) ignored (especially by the commercial and “right” wing media sources).

This occurred despite the overwhelming evidence that the concentration levels of greenhouses gases had been building up in the atmosphere (and the oceans) to unprecedented and dangerous volumes, according to the claims of the world’s most renown climate scientists following those statistics.  a direct result of humans burning fossil fuels in virtually all the economic sectors, the heavy energy use required to provide a meat-dominated consumer diet, plus the use of products made from distant locations, which require, therefore, require either very fossil fuel energy dependent (and heavily government subsidized) air travel, land (highway system also heavily subsidized and the building of upkeep of it is also a major greenhouse gas contributor as is its use, or sea travel.

Following the screening of the film, which will be beginning at 7:00 pm, there will be a discussion of local issues and planned action. Doors open at 6:30 pm for anyone interested in participating in per-screening discussions.

Hosted by a 350 Madison climate action team, for more information, visit http://www.350.org, contact the Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Avenue.

Also see April 20, 2016, blog post.

bald-and-golden-eagle-information

 

 

 

 

Naomi Klein: “We’re out of time on climate change. And Hillary Clinton helped get us here.”

atime

Naomi Klein shared her latest conclusions on how close Earth is to the “tipping point” on global warming and climate change in an April 7, 2016 opinion piece in The Guardian.com, and Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton actions that have made things worse, not better.

Unfortunately, there are so many other federal and state politicians, virtually all so-called public and commercial-funded  media sources, and others who have also “helped” us get where we are now –some have even shown they understood and were aware of the significance of the problem being created (oil industry, possibly auto, truck and airline industries, highway, bridge and airport building industries, coal mining industry, possibly others) yet, almost unbelievably,  chose to continue selling the fuel despite knowing the the significance and potential for calamity for current and future generations.

The path to achieving sustainability on Earth for humans and most other species living on our planet is, unfortunately, rapidly narrowing. It could soon close, say the great many of IPCC climate scientists, and as a result jeopardizing the lives of children living today and in the future. Indeed, there are far too many people in the U.S. and most other developed countries who have not seen fit to overcome their dependence on fossil fuels for activities such as driving motor vehicles, flying jetliners, using products and services made more readily available because of subsidized fuel costs, conserving energy in their homes and mansions, and their choice of a lifestyle which is grossly overdependent on the burning fossil fuels in spite of the now widely accepted crisis which the president of the United States appropriately calls “urgent”.

In short, our continuing with our “business as usual” economy – one centered around the philosophy that we should “eat, drink and be merry” now, while throwing caution to the wind; a philosophy that we can eat our cake and still have it for tomorrow – is unfairly going to saddle the children of today and tomorrow with a planet that is, for all intents and purposes, dying, and thus less likely to sustain life in the not too distant future.

When you place a large kettle of cold water on a hot stove burner, one would not expect to see the water immediately come to a boil. It would take several minutes of heating for the water to reach the boiling point of 212 degrees F.. So it is with adding more greenhouse gases to the volumes of such gases already present in the atmosphere. At some point, scientists predicted the surface waters of Earth’s oceans would begin to show warming. Such warming has now been measured, along with the increase in sea level from thermal expansion and the melting of glaciers, worldwide. The warming of the oceans is increasing, ever so slowly because of the tremendous volume of water the Earth’s 5 oceans, but increasing at a faster rate with the continuing accumulation of more and more atmospheric greenhouse gases, which are cumulative over time

Clearly, our burning such vast quantities of fossil fuels in transportation and for electricity today, while paying nothing for the great harm being inflicted on future generations, is a monumental injustice. The damage being created by the present and recently passed generation’s fuel burning activities is undoubtedly huge and devastating to future societies and animal life – stronger and more deadly storms, worse flooding, longer droughts, hotter heat waves, and impairments to water and other life-sustaining resources and infrastructure.  Calling this anything other  than a crime against humanity seems too kind. The human and economic cost linked to people and animals who will be more exposed to degraded living conditions and more dangerous weather extremes is very real and predictable. Those of our society set on continuing to uphold the status quo of “business as usual”,  as our earth continues to warm under the blanket of a thicker greenhouse gas laden atmosphere have chosen the wrong path.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate (2014), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000). Each book has been translated into over 25 languages worldwide. She is a contributing editor for Harper’s and reporter for Rolling Stone, and writes a regular column for The Nation and The Guardian that is syndicated internationally by The New York Times Syndicate. Additionally, her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Globe and Mail, El Pais, L’Espresso and The New Statesman, among many other publications.

Naomi is a member of the board of directors for 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. She is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics. In 2004, her reporting from Iraq for Harper’s won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. In 2014 she received the International Studies Association’s IPE Outstanding Activist-Scholar award and in 2015 she received The Izzy Award honoring outstanding achievement in independent journalism and media. She holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia. (Photo by Kourosh Keshiri.)

White House Study: Increasing Number of Deadly Heat Waves Inevitable with More Global Warming

125degrees

A new U.S. government study is predicting tens of thousands of people in the United States will die prematurely each year from heat waves and other extreme weather events like hurricanes and floods unless the world takes urgent steps to address the climate crisis said the United States President Barack Obama’s senior science adviser,\John Holdren, on Monday, April 4, 2016 at the White House in Washington D.C..

Said Holdren: “The report projects that under middle-of-the-road emissions scenarios, we can see from thousands to tens of thousands additional heat-related deaths in the United States each summer. And the numbers are really very striking.”

Man-made global warming is making America sicker, and it’s only going to get worse, according to a new federal government report.

The 332-page report issued Monday by the Obama administration said global warming will make the air dirtier, water more contaminated and food more tainted. It warned of diseases, such as those spread by ticks and mosquitoes, longer allergy seasons, and thousands of heat wave deaths.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy said if that’s not enough, climate change affects people’s mental health, too.

“It’s not just about polar bears and melting ice caps. It’s about our families. It’s about our future,” McCarthy said at a White House event unveiling the report.

Climate change affects more people in more ways than anything doctors have seen in the past, said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. He said the report allows doctors to better quantify “the sheer number of pathways through which climate affects health.”

That includes air pollution worsened from power plants, pollen and even wildfires, he said.

“Not being able to breathe is one of the most frightening experience” for people, Murthy said. “We’re talking about scary moments for parents and children.”

Asthma is already the No. 1 cause of children going to the hospital and “now we’re seeing it worsening because of the heat, the allergens,” and air pollution, said Lynn Goldman, dean of the George Washington University’s public health school.

White House science adviser John Holdren highlighted heat waves, saying that even with some reduction in emissions of heat-trapping gases globally, “we can see thousands to tens of thousands of heat-related deaths in the United States each summer.”

Centers of Disease Control and Prevention computer simulations of 209 cities show that extra summer heat deaths will outweigh fewer winter cold deaths from climate change, said CDC’s Shubhayu Saha, a study lead author.

Holdren said the report is based on more than 1,800 published scientific studies and new federal research, and was reviewed by the National Academies of Sciences.

“The report  clearly establishes that climate change is a major threat to public health in the United States,” said Howard Frumkin, dean of the University of Washington’s public health school, who wasn’t part of the report. He said the government isn’t doing enough. “There is a vast disconnect between the magnitude of the problem, as outlined by this report, and the response of government health agencies”, he said.

Source: from an AP news story by Seth Borenstein, AP science writer – Washington D.C..

With a Forecast of Sea Level Rising 5-6 Feet Under “Business-as-Usual” Conditions, Media and Others Ought Ask Presidential Contenders What Steps the Country and Its People Ought Be Taking to Reduce this Major Threat to Humanity!

NYC

The latest study in the prestigious Journal Nature predicts the world’s oceans will rise 5 or 6 feet by the end of this century without major changes to end fossil fuel burning – NOW! We are causing irreparable harm to the earth’s climate and its physical and biological systems – including warming and acidification of the oceans as well as rising sea levels – processes that have already begun and will not be possible to reverse even if humans stop burning fossil fuels today.

So all we can do is slow the rate of change and help those most likely to be affected to prepare for the worst.  It’s the least we can do.

The League of Conservation Voters has a continually updated report “In Own Words” on each remaining 2016 presidential candidates’ past statements on climate change . Non of the candidates statements reflect the study on sea level rise released last week.

Alarming New Study Predicts Dangerous Sea Level Rise to Occur in Decades, Not Centuries

 

atime
A new scientific study, released to the media Tuesday by the European Geoscience Union’s Journal of Atmospheric and Physics, has major media sources reporting “alarming” study predictions of sea level rise and extreme weather from global warming, “much faster” than the rate of rise predicted in the most recent report by IPCC scientists. The world’s governments are being urged to “speed up the transition to carbon-free energy.” (Slate, 3/22/16)

Last year was the hottest on record. This January was the hottest on record. This February was the hottest on record — when the northern hemisphere breached 2 degrees of average warming for the first time in human history. “Our planet’s temperature just reached a terrifying milestone.” (Slate, 3/12/16)

The study uses climate simulations, paleoclimate data and modern observations to infer that continued high fossil fuel emissions will cause a slowdown and eventually shutdown the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and the Southern Meridional Oceanic Circulation, resulting in an increase in powerful storms and nonlinear sea level rise, rising up to several meters in 50–150 years.

The meridional overturning circulation is a system of surface and deep currents encompassing all ocean basins. It transports large amounts of water, heat, salt, carbon, nutrients and other substances around the globe, and connects the surface ocean and atmosphere with the huge reservoir of the deep sea. The circulation of ocean water has been found to play a central role in climate and climate variability. Historically, the focus of research has been on the North Atlantic Basin, a primary site where water sinks from the surface to depth, triggered by loss of heat, and therefore buoyancy, to the atmosphere. A key part of the overturning puzzle, however, is the return path from the interior ocean to the surface through upwelling in the Southern Ocean. This return path is largely driven by winds. It has become clear over the past few years that the importance of Southern Ocean upwelling for our understanding of climate rivals that of North Atlantic downwelling, because it controls the rate at which ocean reservoirs of heat and carbon communicate with the surface.

The authors of the new study claim that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “missed” reporting on these important changes in their latest IPCC report, which the 18 authors of the new study underestimates ice sheet melt and the IPCC’s models are too insensitive to accurately  account for ocean waters mixing.

In a video abstract: “Ice melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms”, lead author and climate scientist Dr. James Hansen states that evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations show that the maximum level of global warming that was set at the Paris Climate Summit meetings in early December 2015 of  2°C global warming to be “highly dangerous” and that “We have a climate emergency and must slash CO2 emissions ASAP or irreparable harm to the climate will be done for succeeding generations”.

Unseasonably Warm Weather in Wisconsin

leopardfrog
Below is the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Outdoor Report summary for March 10, 2016. However, conspicuous by absence is any mention that Wisconsin’s unusually warm weather this month is at all related to human activities that cause climate change. Some of the many sources of fossil and other fuel combustion that emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in Wisconsin include: fossil fuel burning in highway motor vehicles (gasoline and diesel oil); jet aircraft (refined oil/jet fuel); electric power producing plants (primarily coal, and natural gas – methane); natural gas burning for heating homes, buildings, churches and other buildings, recreational utility vehicles; road construction vehicles; in cement and asphalt manufacturing; in snowmobiles, boats, motor vehicles used in tractors and other agricultural machinery, in lawn mowing, in logging, and in other miscellaneous motorized products that burn fuel. Other greenhouse gas emissions may come from mining operations including sand and gravel mining and mining for metals, and from animal livestock propagation for food sales.

Despite the findings and recommendations from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which concludes the climate change problem is “urgent”, as does President Obama, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker and the state’s Republican lawmakers have refused to even hold a citizen hearing regarding the growing threat of climate change, not just to Wisconsin’s future economy, but also the quality of life future residents and visitor to Wisconsin will be provided, as well as the threats of a changing climate to animal and plant life in Wisconsin for generations to come.
Unseasonably warm weather melts snow cover, slows maple tapping efforts

Wisconsin has experienced some unseasonably warm weather in the last week with daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s and even a low 70 reported in Milwaukee. The warm weather has melted most of the snow cover statewide, with just snow surviving in some forested areas of the Northwoods. Snowmobile and cross-country ski trails are now closed statewide and most will remain so even if the state does experience a late season snowfall.

State park and forest trails that were groomed for skiing are now open again to hiking, but most properties are reporting that rail-trail, mountain bike and horse trails are closed, as conditions are soft and muddy and use of trails in these conditions can cause significant damage to trail surfaces.

With the general inland game fish season now closed except on those waters open to game fishing year-round, only a few panfish anglers have been venturing out, but ice conditions are rapidly deteriorating and many shorelines in southern and central Wisconsin are opening up, making access difficult and dangerous.

Most anglers on Green Bay are removing fishing shelters prior to this Sunday’s deadline as waters are rapidly opening up. Anglers were out in high numbers around Sturgeon Bay last weekend with many limits for whitefish reported. Anglers were open water fishing the Fox River at Voyageur Park for walleye but success rates have been low, though with the warmer weather that is expect this to change.

Raccoon, skunk, muskrat, mink, and opossum activity has increased as temperatures have increased and snow has departed. Wild turkeys have been strutting and starting their spring courtship. Flocks are breaking up and the large groups of toms and jakes have already decreased in size as they establish their spring pecking order.

With the warm weather and south winds there has been a significant increase in spring migrants sighted this week, including red-winged blackbirds, killdeer, robins, song sparrows, swamp sparrows, bluebirds, turkey vultures and more. Other early migrants returning to breeding territories include American woodcock, great blue herons and eastern meadowlarks. There was a heavy waterfowl migration across the southern half of the state, including common goldeneyes, all three mergansers, green-winged teal, pintail, wood ducks, and many others. Greater white-fronted geese are moving through in numbers, as are large flocks of Canada geese and occasional cackling, snow, and Ross’s geese. Canada geese are staking out territory and will begin nesting soon. Sandhill cranes are courting and dancing. Bald eagles are incubating eggs and some great horned owls already have chicks.

Maple syrup season has gotten off to a very slow start due to mild temperatures, especially overnight lows staying above freezing. One producer placed out 670 taps late last week and harvested 370 gallons of sap on Monday. The 10-day forecast does not show any significant changes to overnight lows. The concern is that trees will bud out soon resulting in an early end of the season.

A number of observers reported seeing leopard frogs, spring peepers have been heard in the south and salamanders were active with the warm temperatures. Unfortunately the warm weather has also brought out reports from shed hunters and maple tappers finding the first ticks crawling around on them.