Not that bad

A friend called today and said, “Well, I hear you’ve been having a real winter up there.” It certainly sounds that way on the news, with all the reports of snowstorms in New England. But so far I have found this to be a relatively mild winter here in New Bedford. The harbor hasn’t frozen at all this winter, except for one day when a little bit of ice formed in one or two tiny protected backwaters. And there have only been three of four days when ice or snow kept me from walking as far as usual: we have had snow, but always followed by a warm spell that melts all the snow away.

From my point of view, this winter feels milder than the last two winters. And it’s not just my point of view — the waterfowl agree. I have seen about half the number of wintering waterfowl on New Bedford harbor this year, probably because the birds are dispersed over the many inland waterways and ponds that aren’t frozen. Had this winter been as bad as the last two, I think I’d be seeing lots more waterfowl on the harbor.