Record Warm Winter 2015


Where is the snow my little frosty friend???


In our area, the only real sign of winter are the Christmas decorations. It is more like Southern California here in Niagara Falls.


We have been consistently warmer this year thanks to the friend of many, El Niño. Mr. El Niño has brought moisture and warmth around the world in places for a few months now. The jet stream was pushed northward taking those higher winds and colder air on a northward projection.


Eagle with Fish on the Niagara River


Eagle with Fish on the Niagara River

I made a trip to a local park on the 23rd to see what I could find since the weather was so agreeable. Flying high above was an adult eagle with a huge fish followed by some greedy gulls, always a nice sight to see. The Niagara River was a bit choppy, so very few ducks were about, but that did not stop the Trumpeter Swans from taking a rest in the river tributaries around the islands.


I did not head to Buffalo, yet am sure the folks jogging the waterfront have brought out the shorts and t-shirts once again. Cherry blossoms in Washington. Daffodils popping out, yet not in flower around here. Rhododendrons in flower a bit south of us. Trees budding early may lose their ability to flower or fruit next Spring. Flowers still trying to bloom in my garden below. Nature really is pulling a mean trick on them.

Hibernation for bugs is all messed up. There will be a slug fest come spring with slug armies chewing the Buffalo hosta if we don’t get some cold, cold weather. The above-normal temperatures. The abundance of rain. The absence of snow. Happy slugs. While some may prefer this warm weather, I myself prefer the snow and cold.


Another patch of sustained warm weather arrives this week, which will melt any snow that might fall mid weekend. Yes, lake-effect snow is heading for parts of Western New York, yet Christmas Eve temperatures were in the upper 60s. No polar vortex this winter looks to be in the forecast! A lone duck below…days ago, ducks were numerous.


Last year we had snow a good part of the winter season and the swans and ducks had a hard time getting enough food. One thing about snow cover, the images are always much more appealing and the wildlife is always more accessible.

I plan on going to PA this January to visit the eagles in Maryland again. So you might see a bit more wildlife photography coming up here and on Nature and Wildlife Pics. If I don’t get skunked…

I did get some good news on my health, but still have many doctor appointments scheduled, one hospital procedure early tomorrow morning. Oh, I hate anesthesia, but it is necessary. I hope all goes well.

I was told I should not be visiting remote places for wildlife anymore, so am a bit limited where I can photograph. The Conowingo Dam is OK since there are hundreds of people there and it is not out in the middle of nowhere. So, hence that trip. I hope you like seeing eagles! See some more eagles (much better photography) over on Nature and Wildlife Pics. Have a Happy New Year.

Sitting-Mute- Swan-Swan

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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39 Responses to Record Warm Winter 2015

  1. swo8 says:

    We’re getting some weather now, Donna. You probably are too. Don’t think it will last because there are more warm days ahead. Happy New Year.

    • We too had that ice storm, but it did not last by the next day. In some ways, it is nice to have a mild winter, but long range forecast looks like it may not last the season. Happy New Year, Leslie.

      • swo8 says:

        We had a little more snow this morning and it is still coming down a bit now. Happy New Year to you and your family, Donna.

  2. Snowstorm here in Wisconsin today, so winter is late but making an appearance now. Good luck with your procedure; I think of you often. Enjoy your eagle experience! Happy New Year!

    • The procedure went well, but they did find out another problem with which to deal, one that affected my mother, just like my heart disease. It seems like I am falling apart sometimes, like my expiration date is looming, but I quickly realize not every day is like that. I really wish I did not have the genetics of my parents. Happy New Year, Beth

  3. Charlotte says:

    Hope all goes well for you tomorrow. Was wondering how you have been feeling since coming home after your last trip.

  4. Since my focus has been on my ‘swimming with swans’ project…I especially like your swan photos-snow or no snow!
    Thank you for your discrete reference to the state of your health; I understand about privacy and appreciate the bits you do share. Blessings, always.

    • Thank you Laura. I am not sure I would be swimming with the swans. They would probably drown me. I am not a strong swimmer and they are rather testy. LOL. I just like looking at them from shore. I was lucky the swans in winter are not as aggressive since I was pretty close to them. I guess they like conserving energy when food is scarce. I did bring them corn. They were happy.

  5. You seem to be having the same winter as us here in the UK. We have so much in flower and catkins fully out.

  6. My dear Donna, I’m sending you my very best wishes and I KNOW all will go well tomorrow [and in 2016!]. Hugs 🙂

  7. Donna–I especially like the last photo (of the swan). It looks like it’s made of snow! I’m just dropping by to wish you and yours a happy, healthy, prosperous 2016!

  8. alesiablogs says:

    Wishing you much better health in 2016!!!

  9. Les says:

    I do hope your health continues to improve, mine did when I saw that last photo. We are at 72, cloudy, balmy, and breezy today. My camellias are blooming that I don’t normally see until March. I would complain, but it would change nothing.

    • Thanks Les. I do know nature helps. I always feel a bit better if I can get myself in nature. I know complaining never helps, but there will be quite a bit coming by garden bloggers. It happens every year, no matter what kind of winter we have. Flowers are pretty no matter the season.

  10. Denise says:

    Happy New Year Donna. I hope all goes well with your health.

  11. We are in California now and the weather is cool but pleasant. Just checked the report for home and the temps are hovering around freezing, and a lot of ice and snow (mostly ice) fell the other day.

  12. What a gorgeous swan! I had periwinkle flowers on Christmas Eve.

  13. All the best for the necessary hospital procedure, Donna! (And thanks for your both excellent posts – here and on your other blog! Great pictures, too!)

  14. Annette says:

    Such a difference to last year’s pics, Donna, but I guess the birds didn’t mind so much not freezing or starving to death this year. We’ve been lucky so far with the effects of El Nino but I wonder how the spring flowering will look like when everything starts now. Have a fab new year and I hope your health problems have been sorted out. x Annette

    • So true. Last year, we did not have snow for Christmas, but the season was snowy and very cold. Wildlife did suffer. Thank you and Happy New Year, Annette. I am feeling a lot better. I still have tests to take, but so far I have been getting good news.

  15. bittster says:

    All the best for the new year and for continuing improvement. The warm weather is nice for getting out and about, but I also wouldn’t mind a nice solid snowstorm!

    • I agree, warm weather has been better for my health. Going out in -20° really is not something my doctors would want me doing, yet, I do enjoy those very cold days. I think the plants would be much happier covered by a blanket of snow though. They will pay for this warm beginning to winter if we don’t get snow. Happy New Year, Frank.

  16. I am glad you had some good health news Donna! And our warm weather is turning colder after the sleet we had….but I fear we will not have cold enough or snowy enough weather needed for our winter. well here’s to 2016! Happy New Year!

  17. Karen says:

    My husband and I knew that winter would be warm when we moved to Florida but the month of December broke records most every day. Wishing you a healthy new year, Donna.

  18. No snow here (a bit south) either. The cherry blossoms in our development are in bloom – crazy! Don’t know what will happen in the spring.

  19. Hopefully, winter will come soon…

  20. A.M.B. says:

    I’m glad to hear you’ve gotten some good news on your health!
    As for this warm winter… ugh. My hyacinths and daffodils are up, but not flowering. I’m bummed about it. We’re finally getting some colder weather this week. I hope it lasts until March.

  21. We’re expected to get some lake effect snow in the next few days, but then by next weekend it’s supposed to warm up again. I’m not looking forward to a slug fest next summer. Ours are big enough and we have plenty of them.
    Your last photo of the swan was just amazing! It blew me away!

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