29 degrees F Heavy Snow Wind 1mph N
Welcome to Minnesota, The Theater of Seasons!
We are now in Act 2 Scene 3.
Or take your pick of where we are.
Words do not do justice to the scene outside the windows right now. It would make the perfect picture postcard for Christmas. IF it was Christmas.
Snow is coming down heavily.
Every branch of the pine trees are frosted with snow. Brilliant sparkling white of the snow against the deep green of the pine boughs.
The leafless branches of every other tree and bush are piled high with snow. With the lack of wind, the snow lazily drifts almost straight down and collects on every horizontal surface, even the smallest of twigs.
There is a veritable traffic jam at the bird feeders.
A brilliant red male cardinal and his olive mate stand out against the dazzling white of the snow.
The black and white chickadees flit furiously back and forth from the feeders. Taking one sunflower seed at a time, they fly to the nearest bush to peck it open. And then they return for another seed. Over and over. One after the other.
The slate-colored juncos sit while they eat. They sit either on the feeder or on the ground.
White breasted nuthatches take a seed and then fly to the nearest tree trunk. There they sit upside down while they hammer open the seed with their beak.
A red-bellied woodpecker eats from the cake of suet and seeds.
Finches eagerly feed on thistle seeds.
A brilliant blue jay, the pig of the group - a beautiful bird but a greedy one, flies in and chases all the other birds away while he scatters seed all over.
When he leaves, the other birds return and the traffic jam resume.
Robins are singing as if trying to figure out what is going on.
So in spite of the disappointment of more snow so late in the spring, it brings scenes of such beauty and wonderment.
The snow is expected to continue through tonight or early tomorrow morning. Last night one of the television stations in the Twin Cities was forecasting an expected 14 inches of snow at two cities less than 20 miles from here. I think they subsequently lowered the forecast because of the uncertainty of where the snow/rain line would fall.
It is hard to tell how much snow we have gotten so far because it is wet and settles. But there are over 4 inches of "settled snow" and it is still coming down heavily.
Just a few days ago, the snow and ice had finally melted off the loon nest.
We were planning on working today and tomorrow to do all the technical work necessary to get the camera and the microphone and the computers all working together so that we were ready whenever the lake allowed us to put the nest out.
With all this snow, that may also have to wait for a few more days.
There had been about 30 feet of open water around the edge of the lake. But then yesterday morning that had frozen over again as the temperature fell to 16 degrees and tied an all-time modern record that went back to 1875.
The cold and the snow has definitely slowed down the ice going out of the lake.
But temperatures are expected to hit the 60s on Easter Sunday and next week.
So things will change quickly in the next few days.
I have received numerous reports of loons on the move all across the country and some reports of loons here in Minnesota where they are able to find open water.
If you see or hear loons, I would appreciate your reports. You can send them to LoonCam@yahoo.com. Because of the volume of emails, I cannot respond personally to you. But I promise that I do eventually read all of them.
Any observations you have are so helpful to know what is going on. I will try to post some of the information on the blog here or answer some of your questions.
You have all been SO kind and gracious in your expressions of appreciation for the LoonCam and how much it has meant to you and your loved ones and your friends. Thank you for your kindness.
Encourage your kid's teachers to use the LoonCam in the classroom as a wonderful teaching tool about science and nature and the wonders of Creation!
In the Twin Cities some of the lakes are already ice free and there have been some loons spotted on those lakes as well as some of the rivers which are ice free before the lakes are. So they are trying to get here. And your reports help to know where they are.
For now, we can only wait.
Spring WILL come ... someday.
A VERY Happy Easter to all of you. And for those who just celebrated Passover, Chag Pesach Sameach.