Transition time.

Raymore Park is at the exact latitude of Florence in Italy. Despite this, our climate is about 12°C (22°F) colder in winter because Florence has the Alps blocking the path of arctic weather. Our closest mountains of influence (the Rockies) usually block mild westerlies from the Pacific, leaving us vulnerable to cold northerly winds in winter. Although the Great Lakes provide a moderating influence, ours is a continental climate with short transitions between seasons. Land warms and cools quickly and seasons tend to advance (and retreat) without too much fanfare.

Wildlife is poised to return in force. Many animals are already on their way through migration. Monarch butterflies for example have already begun the trek from Mexico, each generation moving north as conditions permit. Billions of creatures in the park will spring to life from the seeds and eggs left behind by their ancestors, killed in the mass extinction that occurs every Fall. Atlantic salmon are preparing to spawn, triggered by rising water temperatures. Geese and other water birds are pairing up and aimlessly mooching around the river like teenagers in a shopping mall while plants are awaiting the signal that tells them it’s safe to emerge.

Mooching geese.

Mooching geese under a leaden sky.

Huge amounts of sediment laden water are draining off the land from tributaries all along the Humber. The ground is fully saturated ready to nourish plants when they start growing.

Huge amounts of water drain into the Lower Humber.

Huge amounts of water are draining into the Lower Humber.

The land is saturated.

The land is saturated as snow and ice melt.

For now though, it’s quiet.

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