Four years ago today there were whiteout conditions at Farmington Bay WMA where the horizon seemed to disappear due to thick ground-level fog, low hanging clouds and a deep blanket of snow on the ground. It was a challenging morning for me to photograph in but I know it was much harder for the birds that had to go through the bitter cold temperatures of the winter night because most of the birds I saw early in the morning were covered in hoar frost.
Many of the birds here in the Salt Lake Valley find a place to roost in the evening and overnight frost begins to accumulate on their feathers like it did on this Rough-legged Hawk on a parking sign. Rough-legged Hawks breed in the Arctic tundra and taiga of Canada and Alaska and are used to frigid temperatures and their feathered tarsi, or legs, help them to withstand the cold.
Still, when I see birds covered in frost I feel bad that they have to survive the harsh winters here without the creature comforts that I have.
The weather conditions here this morning look as bad, if not worse, than they were four years ago. I’ll more than likely be staying home and keeping warm.
Life is good.