Thursday, May 2, 2013 12:12pm CDT

40 degrees F     Cloudy     Wind 15mph N
Sunrise   5:59am CDT     Sunset   8:21pm CDT
We dodged a bullet!
The snowstorm that passed through the area stayed to the east of us.  Here our loons saw only snow flurries although they did have to put up with wind and cold.
We got no accumulation of snow here.  But in far eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, they got hit hard.  The highest snow total that I have seen reported by one of our tv stations is 17.5 inches and reports of a foot of snow are common in the area of heaviest snow.
That is crazy for the second day of May.
This is a storm that dropped snow all the way from Oklahoma and Texas to Canada.
While we did not get any snow here, I am about ready to go on an "ice IN" watch!
There is 'pack ice' more than 100 feet out from shore.  "Pack ice" is ice cover that is made up of pieces/chunks/plates of ice that do not form a solid surface but which completely cover the surface of the water.  Think of what it would look like if you filled your sink with water.  And then poured a big bag of ice cubes into it.  The surface would be completely covered with ice, but it would not be solid.
That is what is happening on the lake right now.  A "sink" with 100 feet of ice cubes around the edge.  But only on this side of the 'sink' because of the wind.
I am not sure if this is some of the ice leftover from the breakup on Tuesday or if this formed overnight.  It was cold enough overnight that new ice could have formed and broken up.  The pieces do not look like they are from what broke up on Tuesday but they could be.
Seagulls and crows and even an osprey are working the edges of the ice pack looking for things that have washed up with the ice or for fish that are hiding at its edges.
The question is what all of this does to the nesting and egg laying of loons.
And I am sorry that I do not have an answer for you.
The loons are still here, swimming out in the lake.  And calling.  But not calling near as much before this latest cold weather settled in.
Is there a chance that they might try to find another place to nest before we can get the nesting platform out in the lake for them?  I guess that is a possibility and it is one of my fears.  But there is no way of knowing for sure and I see no obvious indication of it yet.  But the question remains in the back of my mind.
We will get the nesting platform out as soon as we can.  That is all we can do.  And then like it has been every other year, from that point on it is up to the loons.  We have done all we can and the are in control of what happens.
There is still a forecast for more snow tonight and during the day tomorrow but I have not heard any predictions that have talked about any accumulating snow.
By next week, we are supposed to have temperatures back in the 70s which is more the norm for this time of year.
Hopefully things will return to 'normal' with May flowers AND loons!
Copyright 2013    Larry R Backlund