While Reading Melanie Challenger's "On Extinction," Life in "The Other Season"

So I’ve begun reading Melanie Challenger’s On Extinction, to review for the Dallas Morning News, a timely book when Climate Change is panting its hot breath down our neck like an oily wolf: the weather has been so warm this month in southern Colorado we’ve (morbidly) joked that we’re living in The Other Season—should be late fall, feels like early spring. There’s a fire in Rocky Mountain National Park, described here, when it should be snow-covered.
It’s like winter is coming but no one believes in it anymore.
Yesterday at a Festival of Trees in our small town of Westcliffe one of our friends said she had driven from California a week before and it was dry the whole way, no snow evident anywhere, even ski resorts like Park City, Utah. It causes an unsettled feeling in the populace, to which I can attest. Several conversations I had yesterday were about how dry it has been, how we need some snow, and if we don’t get it, how bad it will be for the ranchers and hay season. People ran screaming through the sleepy streets, Please, Lord. Let it snow!
Meanwhile let’s not forget all the plants and animals that need the moisture to live. We saw bear tracks near our house last week, when they should be cozy in their snow-wrapped dens. Or the birds, who seem awfully pleased with my bird feeder of late. They even eat out of our hands now. Here’s some chickadees eating sunflower seeds out of my daughter’s hand. She’s a little like Ruby, the girl I write about in The Bird Saviors.

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