Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:34pm CST

33 degrees  Cloudy   Wind 3mph NW
Suddenly the feel of winter has arrived.
It is more a return to 'normal' but it feels like winter because of the very mild weather we have had.
Most of last week I was up along the Canadian border.  I could look across the lake I was on and the other side of the lake was Canadian soil.  Two countries so similar and so close.  And yet completely different countries.
The whole time I was there, temperatures were very mild and in the 50s and it was very enjoyable.
But then Friday night hit with a vengeance in the Twin Cities.  Parts of the metro area got 12 inches of snow!
All of a sudden it really did feel like winter.
I have been surprised to see the loons, in which we implanted satellite transmitters, still staying around.  The commonly accepted view is that the adults start their migration south between mid-September to mid-October and that the young start their migration south between mid-October to mid-November..
If you have been following the progress of the loons on the USGS website, you have seen that four of them have remained on their breeding lakes in northern Wisconsin and the others are still on Lake Michigan.  None of them have ventured farther south yet.
I keep wondering if it is the unusually mild weather that has kept them from migrating further.
That is possibly supported by the fact that one of the four still in northern Wisconsin finally made his way to Lake Michigan on Saturday, November 13....just as the weather turned colder and snow arrived.
It will be very interesting to watch to see if the other loons follow him to Lake Michigan now that snow and cold have arrived.  And if the loons that have been on Lake Michigan will now begin their migrations further south.
You can follow the migrations of the satellite implanted loons at:
We now have five of the "satellite loons" on Lake Michigan and three still on their lakes in northern Wisconsin.
When will they leave?  How soon will they leave?  Will they all leave together?  Which route will they take?  Will they go to the Gulf of Mexico?  Or will they go to the Atlantic coast?  Will any of them succumb to botulism on Lake Michigan?
So many questions.  And so few answers as of yet.
But you get to be a part of watching and tracking and learning.
The more we learn, the more we realize how little we actually know.