I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I looked out the window and saw snow on the tree branches. I quickly looked out the other window and saw snow on our steps. The first snow in Bettles! The snow lasted until about noon.
Over the past week, the temperature has been dropping. Our first freezing temperature came two nights ago–which seems later than normal.
Most of the leaves are gone from the trees, except for a few tenacious clusters. I’m enjoying this because I can see the birds chirping away in the trees. I’ve been noticing a flock of pine grosbeaks eating the buds on the trees. I’ve seen them in several spots around town so I’m not sure if there is more than one flock.
Two days ago, I witnessed two gray jays mobbing a northern hawk owl. At first I saw the gray jays dive bombing a bird flying, then I realized that bird wasn’t a gray jay or raven. Luckily, the bird landed on a spruce tree close to the road and I realized it was an owl. The gray jays kept diving at it until it moved two more times. The last time must have been far enough away since the gray jays didn’t follow it.
Interestingly, it was late afternoon/early evening and the owl was out in the daylight. I’m not sure if it was hunting or the gray jays awoke it from its slumber. Either way I was excited to see the owl, my first northern hawk owl.