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The Daily Bucket is your repository for local nature gossip. Winter ducks overhead? Hummingbirds warring over feeders? Moth larvae in your flour bin? Post your sightings here, along with nature questions, answers, and commentary. Everyone is welcome - all we ask is that you let us know where you're located, as close as you're comfortable revealing.
Seattle. December 7, 2013.

Got up in early morning twilight this morning. The hummingbirds had already gotten up, their hard little voices chipping from the tree next to where the feeder should have been. The feeder was sitting on the dining room table, safe from the cold.

Temperature on the back porch at 7:37AM, Dec 7, 2013.Dec 7, 2013. Temp on the back porch at 7:27AM.
This cold crept into the neighborhood last Monday, revealing itself first as thick frost on the rooftops and a crunchy glaze on the edges of the gardens, both of which melted soon after the sun rose up. By Wednesday the lower part of the garden had frozen to the ground, not even thawing in the afternoon's slanty sunlight.

On Thursday the pond down at the Wetland had a thin glaze of ice along its edges. Yesterday the ice had thickened and spread. The pond's usual winter contingent of Mallards were absent. I found them in the open water of the lake, better swimming there, at least for the time being.

Dec 6, 2013. Ice on the Wetland pond.Dec 6, 2013. The freezing  Wetland pond.
The cold continues to harden. Yesterday afternoon the ground was frozen under the least sheltered places in the Forest, and I was aware of an unfamiliar stillness when we stopped - no bird sounds, none of the soft rustles from the underbrush, no branches rubbing one against the next. Only the cold wheezing through my chest and Bill's quick panting breaths.

Even the licorice ferns had curled themselves up against the cold.

Dec 6, 2013. Licorice Fern frond.Dec 6, 2013. The Forest. Cold Licorice Fern
December 7, 2013. Temperatures have been uncharacteristically cold in Seattle since December 2. Word is that the cold will last through the beginning of the week.

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Your turn. What's been happening in your natural neighborhood? Everyone is welcome to add their observations to the Bucket. I'll be here most of the day, but may venture out for a spell in mid-afternoon.

Update 1:25PM. Um, I forgot the link to the weekly Green Diary Rescue.... here it is:

"Green Diary Rescue" is posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page. Green Diary Rescue has been good to Backyard Science, so take a minute to recommend, comment, and then link to your other off-Kos groups.

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