Snow in September


Colorado went from 93o on Monday September 7 to 32o Tuesday September 8, 2020 — a change of sixty-one degrees in 24 hours. Prior to that, On September 6, Denver reached 101o making it our latest 100o day. That gave us a 48 hour change of 68o.

This weather whiplash was a result of the fact that fast-moving cold weather fronts push in behind slow-moving warm weather fronts, compressing the warm air and making it even warmer. When the cold front finally arrives, the temperature drop is dramatic. Few are as dramatic as what we saw yesterday — this was almost a record-breaker for Denver (the record being a change of 63o).

The temperature drop gave us much needed moisture, first as rain, then as snow. Although we are all glad to be out of the forest fire smoke that has plagued us for a month, it has been hard on the birds.

Before the storm hit, my husband and I made sure to fill the bird feeders. The little cheepies appreciated it this morning.

The hummingbirds, almost totally dependent on flower nectar for food, were particularly hard hit. Hummingbirds rely on their incredibly fast metabolism to keep warm. If the night is too cold, they can literally starve to death.

But we had a plan! I have a hummingbird feeder that sticks to the sliding glass door, and so is under the house eaves and would remain snow-free. The little birds completely ignore if there is any other food source available. But this morning, nothing else was clear of snow.

Female hummingbird on sliding glass door feeder. The streak across the glass is not a symptom of my poor housekeeping, but rather is an ultraviolet marker designed to keep birds from flying off our many feeders and into the windows.

The picture above was taken with natural light, because I didn’t want to startle the starving bird and scare it off it’s energy sources. But for some reason, my camera used the flash for the picture below.

The resulting photo shows off the bird’s iridescent feathers. Bird feathers create color not with pigment, but with prisms in the feathers themselves, and so change depending on the angle of the light.http://Hummer colors

4 thoughts on “Snow in September

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