Observations for January 2017

While it’s been an extraordinarily warm, sunny winter so far, we’re heading into what is historically the coldest part of the year in Kent. The season when the cold, short days, often gray skies and long frigid nights fool us into thinking nature has paused for the season. While it’s true some of our wild neighbors are hiding away waiting for warmer weather, many are as active as ever. Our resident crows and ravens, for example, are trying hard to make good impressions on one another. The males are looking for interesting gifts to bring prospective mates, and the females are doing their best to look sleek and ready. A glance in the woodland snow will show both canid and feline tracks. The domestic ones wander. The wild ones seem much more purposeful.

At night when it’s clear and dark, the cold air is often calm and dry from the ground to the top of our atmosphere, making for wonderful star-gazing. Our astronomical forecast for Kent show what the “seeing” will be like for the next day or so. It’s updated every day. Our sky chart for Kent shows where the stars and planets are in the sky at whatever time and date you choose.

Take a look around then share what you find with the 150+ subscribers to the Kent CAC Nature Almanac! It’s easy — click here then scroll to the end of the page and fill in the form. (Your first observation might take a little while to show up since we need to manually process it to help keep “spam” to a minimum.) We’ll pick your observation up and assemble it with others for publication at the end of the month. Or, if you’d prefer, you can send your observations to almanac@kentcac.info. Either way works!