I saw on a local television news report that this has been the 6th coldest February on record. I believe it! Unfortunately, the persistent snow cover and single digit temperatures have really limited the number of new invertebrate and moss species that I've seen at Dorsey's Knob Park this past month. If nothing else, a harsh winter makes the arrival of springtime just that much sweeter.
Although the thermometer may still be showing sub-freezing temperatures, the animals are telling a different story. During this past week, there has been a flock of American Robins feeding on a grassy patch at the Dorsey's Knob disc golf course. Generally you can always find a robin or two around Morgantown throughout the winter, however, a flock of forty birds probably represents a group that has recently migrated north. And along those same lines, I've also been seeing high-flying V's of Canada Geese honking their ways northward.
Of course we don't want to leave out those classic mammalian harbingers of spring...the hibernators. So far there has been no sign of our local Groundhog, but I'm sure that he'll make an appearance any day now. On the other hand, I recently spotted an Eastern Chipmunk gorging his cheeks on the bird seed at my feeder. It would be interesting to know just how much of my sunflower seed and millet this little guy has carried away into his burrow. Or maybe I don't want to know... Regardless, his message is clear. Warmer days are right around the corner!