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Local Sports

February 28, 2014

Animals' behavior a sign of wild winter

(Continued)

So if the animals have no idea what is happening, how do we know? Animals usually know. Deer will feed in the fields before a storm. Geese usually fly south as cold weather approaches. Their habits are often governed by the weather.

But this year is different. While we’re shivering and freezing our butts off here in upstate New York, Alaska has had some record warm days. I talked with a woman the other day who is a pilot and flies freight into the distant, back-country villages of Alaska. She told me in many areas, there’s not even snow on the ground. Many of the lakes and rivers never even froze this year. The bears never went into hibernation. Eleven thousand years ago, 200 feet of ice sat right there.

The Finger Lakes and even Otsego Lake were carved out by the southern flow. That melted back long before man burned coal and drove cars. The earth is ever changing. We will have cold winters and hot summers, and sometimes warm winters and cool summers. And every once in a while we’ll have a mixture.

After all, weather is a finicky thing.

Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him robrockway@hotmail.com.

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