Wednesday, April 17, 2013 11:49pm CDT

While we still have no encouraging news from the lake for our loons, there are other reports that hold some promise.
The lake here is still solidly frozen under feet of ice.
And the cold weather we have been having with more snow has not helped it melt.  So it still looks  like it might be a while before we can get the nesting platform out for the loons and before we see them back on the lake.
The nesting platform has been buried under snow and ice all winter.
Just when I think I will be able to do some work on it, we get more snow which buries it once again.
But right now there is no real hurry.  Nothing can happen until the ice goes out of the lake.
But there are reports that the loons are TRYING to return to their beloved northern lakes.
The USGS website is showing 2 loons on Lake Michigan and one in Wisconsin.  These are loons that we implanted with satellite transmitters two years ago.  Surprisingly those transmitters are still transmitting enough to determine their location.
The local NBC television affiliate in Minneapolis on the news tonight showed a picture sent in by a viewer who said they "saw 50 loons on a lake in Bloomington" - which is one of the southern suburbs of Minneapolis.
I do not know of any ice-free lakes in the area so I have to believe that it may have been on Black Dog Lake which is part of the Minnesota River.  The rivers in the area are all mostly free of ice - the Minnesota, the Mississippi and the St Croix.  So it could very well be that our loons are staging on the open water of these rivers until they can move further north.
Someone else reported in the chat room that they had seen at least 4 loons on the Mississippi River between Red Wing and Lake City.
So the loons are close.
It seems that they are as anxious to come back as we are anxious to have them back.
But the next two days hold the promise of more snow.  Maybe up to 6 inches of new snow.
Hope springs eternal.
Or is it that this spring is one of eternal HOPE?!
So once again we wait and enjoy all the wonderful things around us.
Copyright 2013  Larry R. Backlund