A Spring Day in Winter in Siouxland, Hitchcock Nature Center, Honey Creek

11 Feb
A couple walks a board walk nature trail as the day’s temperature hovers in the low 50’s at the Hitchcock Nature Center in rural Pottawattamie County Monday, January 31, 2022 near Honey Creek, Iowa. Although spring-like Monday, Western Iowa is seeing this winter’s temperatures swing from from highs in the 50’s and sometimes 60’s to below zero with wind chill of -30 but very little snow. The temperature will be dropping to zero by Wednesday of this week. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An unusual winter continues in Siouxland this year, a bit different from other parts of the country. Normally the area is covered in snow, sometimes a lot, but a drought trend seems to be continuing for this part of the Midwest with little to no snow accumulations happening in the immediate area. Spring-like weather with temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s make it very pleasant to venture outdoors. The temperature has been bouncing from around zero to minus zero for a few days and then jumping back up to the 40’s and 50’s. Sometimes making it possible for almost a 50-60 degree mood change in the climate.

And the dry conditions may hamper farmers when it comes to spring planting with many worrying about enough moisture in the ground for the planted seeds to begin germinating.

A couple walks a nature trail with the temperature in the low 50’s at the Hitchcock Nature Center in rural Pottawattamie County Monday, January 31, 2022 near Honey Creek, Iowa. Although spring-like Monday, Western Iowa is seeing this winter’s temperatures swing from from highs in the 50’s and sometimes 60’s to below zero with wind chill of -30 but very little snow. The temperature will be dropping to zero by Wednesday of this week. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A red-headed woodpecker fast at work on a tree at the Hitchcock Nature Center in rural Pottawattamie County Monday, January 31, 2022 near Honey Creek, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But having lived a good portion of my life in the Midwest it’s nice not to freeze any extremities going outdoors if just running to the store. Some days though this winter season and local newscasters and weather prognosticators warn people that exposing skin for more than 30 minutes during the extreme cold spells will result in frostbite. But it certainly does spoil a person wearing a sweater and heavy fleece rather than a parka. And it was nice while visiting the Hitchcock Nature Center to actually see trails I have not hiked before because of lack of foliage and snow on the ground covering the trails.

So sometime in spring or early summer when the land is dry a little longer walk to some distance hillsides will be necessary to check out the scenery and see what lies beyond the hill.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Distant park trails are seen from the watchtower nature to the nature center at the Hitchcock Nature Center in rural Pottawattamie County Monday, January 31, 2022 near Honey Creek, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: