Wacky Weather & Welcome Wildlife

It’s been a wild and wacky week in the Upstate as temperatures skyrocketed from the 20’s into the 70’s and then back down again. Wednesday, punctuated by a violent thunderstorm, brought winds gusting to 40 miles an hour and up to 6-inches of rain in areas west of Greenville. Tim and I saw the Reedy River overflow its banks behind our home for the first time and waited in fear for one of the towering hardwoods to come crashing down. Luckily, all ended well (for us) and cleanup was minimal.

There’s been other excitement too. For the first time in nearly a year we caught sight of a river otter. I managed to get a few photos and though poor quality you can get an idea how large this animal is–at least 3-feet long. Last year we spied a pair frolicking, but this big fellow (or gal) was swimming swiftly, intent on finding grub. In the photo below, you can spy the back of the otter glinting in the sharp morning sun, just past the trunk of a small walnut tree.

River otter...can you find the glinting back just past the small tree?

River otter…can you find the glinting back just past the small tree?

Redtail hawks have also been abundant in recent days. We’ve seen them in pairs and on their own, keeping a close eye on activity near the river. In the photo below, taken this morning, one of the redtails is perched near the top of the same tree. (Again, please excuse the pic, the river is 150 feet from our back windows.)

Redtail hawk at the breakfast buffet

Redtail hawk at the breakfast buffet

I don’t want to leave off, however, without sharing at least one photo worth admiring. Terry Gentry, a friend (and fellow Master Gardener) who lives just a few streets away, captured this amazing image of a honeybee with its pockets full of pollen. In general, bees don’t fly when the temperature is below 50 F, but we frequently find them visiting winter blooms on warm days.

Honeybee collecting pollen from flowering quince

Honeybee collecting pollen from flowering quince

For more interesting news on wildlife, visit my friend gardeninacity.

4 thoughts on “Wacky Weather & Welcome Wildlife

  1. Will

    Such a lovely quince! WE have been spotting honey bees on the apple tree, which has repeatedly bloomed for a couple weeks now, only to be shut down temporarily each time with cold or a frost. You are so right – these bees are determined to work if the weather will let them…they’ll always find something in bloom.

    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Will–the peach farmers are holding their collective breath hoping we get enough chill nights. Though everyone is in a hurry for spring, I’m pulling for the farmers.

  2. Johnnie Ruth Sturgeon

    Beautiful photos. Wacky weather in Louisiana. Enjoy your blog. I am president of my garden club this year. I have shared your pics and info.

  3. Deen Meloro

    Love the photographs. We had the same ups and downs of temperatures in NJ, but probably in a different range. Did enjoy the 60 degree day in the middle of winter, though.


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