Blustery and Brisk

The outflow event began today, with blustery winds and chilly temperatures. Fortunately the brunt of the wind does not hit my house, but I did notice there were some strong gusts occasionally. I am not sure what the reason for this is, but I suspect that this location is mostly in a wind shadow from the mountains, so the stronger winds are up higher, with only occasional gusts dropping down from the turbulent flow.

I drove out the road as far as SeaMart today and could see white caps to the north. I imagine they were even stronger blowing out of Katlian Bay. 

It was mostly overcast, but where there were breaks in the stratus layer, it was apparent that strong winds were blowing at higher elevations, with the clouds showing a very sculpted look. Over Crecent Bay there was one cloud in particular that had an interesting swoop which made me wonder if there was some sort of wave in the atmosphere from the wind coming over the mountains.

Today’s intriguing ice formation was a thin layer of ice with various large crystal formations as well as other patterns. This ice was at the upper part of the beach where I suspect it formed during this morning’s high tide. 

Speaking of ice, I remembered today that I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post the tinkling of hoar frost crystals in those frosty hollows. Perhaps triggered by a light breeze or just enough sun to melt the base, I could occasionally hear the sound of the crystals falling. It was exquisite.

I searched a bit for Bohemian Waxwings without any luck today. A very late Hermit Thrush was unexpected. After it flew across in front of me on Jeff Davis street, I stopped to take some pictures. I don’t think there are many records of them this late into the winter.

At the park I was curious about the behavior of the ducks. These included the Wood Duck, Gadwalls, a Green-winged Teal, and American Wigeons, plus a couple of the Mallards. All of them were swimming along with their beak at or just below the surface of the river. They were in the estuary, but the tide was out, so it was all fresh water. I had the impression they were eating, but I’m not sure what it might have been. 

My iNaturalist Observations from Today

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