26 February 2013

Snow-storm Q Results in New Species at Carthage

Winter storm "Q" arrived at Omaha and, finally, after all the hype as expressed for days by weather reporters, the actual event did leave several inches of snow broadly spread across the city. At least seven to eight inches were prevalent atop the bluffs beyond Saddle Creek and the Radial Highway.

One shovel-amount at a time, the gathered flakes were initially moved away in the early night when an initial shoveling effort was done during the early hours of the snow fall. It was a preliminary effort to ease the extent of the overall chore.

The next morning, with any places of any interest closed due to the "dire conditions" as reported time and time again by the media, it was a time to instead focus upon a shovel and covered concrete on the morning of February 22nd. Rather than riding elsewhere because of prominent closures, the time was spent removing snow from the sidewalk, the long driveway, the prominent front steps, as well as skiffs of white stuff blown onto the porch. Similar efforts were obvious about Carthage, in eastern Omaha, near the Dundee district.

It was a grand situation of fresh snow spread everywhere, wonderfully blue skies and warm sunshine. Snow removal was the prominent endeavor, but the natural conditions were also superlative.

While moving an aggregated amount of somewhat light white stuff from one place to a nearby spot suitable for piling, an expressive sound was heard. It meant an obvious hesitation along north 49th Street, and provided a lapse to relax and consider the source. Then it was heard again, just a small distance away, to the north, over near Izard Street.

There seemed to be an expressive cat in the trees, as it was a sound like a meow. The subsequent realization: it was the call of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Then it was heard again, despite the noise of shovels across concrete as being moved by men, raucous snow-blowers and only slight traffic. The sound always came from above, up among the trees. Some time might have been taken to get the spotting scope and get a visual view, but? Neighbors already might wonder why my pedestrian perspective seems to be focused towards the skies, with short stops along the way to gaze above, seemingly looking at nothing from their perspective, along with any other actions associated with bird watching among a residential area, with its many peering eyes.

With the shoveling task done, a bit of time was taken to warm up inside the house. After loitering outside a short time later, the "cat call" was heard again, but further south, near Cuming Street, while still up above the scene.

The call of the sapsucker is distinctive, and has been heard many time prior to this morning. Its expression was the sound heard on the morning after winter storm Q. The record meant the latest addition to the neighborhood bird list, being species no. 72 for the area, since records have been kept starting in 2003.

Most recently this year, now in the last days of February, territorial robins are about. The first cooing Mourning Dove has been heard early in the morning. Cardinals continue to sing in their expressive way amidst the place. These neighborhood birds are sounding off early about their claim on a breeding space. The birds convey an exquisite indication of a pending spring.