Tuesday, March 31, 2015 11:29 pm CDT


52 degrees   Clear   Calm  

Sunrise  6:56 am CDT     Sunset   7:39 pm CDT

We are getting close!

I have been gone for the last couple weeks. I spent it in Tahiti! I know!  I know!  It is tough but someone has to do it.

When I got home, it felt really cold.  

And it was.  

The lake was still completely frozen. Now a couple days later, the ice is black and I think that it will go out tomorrow.  

A lot of it has been melting in place.  

We had high winds on Sunday and it pushed up on one of the other shores and formed large heaps of ice.  But the ice sheet was still too solid to break apart.

But now with temperatures in the 60s yesterday and today, it is getting ready to go.

Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70s with rain and possibly thunderstorms.  That means it is almost guaranteed to go out tomorrow.

All day today there have been thousands upon thousands of seagulls on the lake.  I would actually guess 10,000.  But let's stick with thousands.

The sound they make is almost deafening.

There was a bright blue sky with puffy white clouds.  A blue lake more than half covered by black ice.  And white tornadoes of seagulls as they land on the edges of the ice and then take off and spiral up and around.  Only to land on the ice once again.  Squawking the whole time.

I looked and looked but I could not spot our loons.  

Either they are not back yet or they are effectively hiding. But if they are not here, it will not be long until they are back.

The nest is almost ready to go into the water.  

But it cannot go until all the ice is gone.

If I put it in before all the ice is gone, if the ice is driven this way by the wind, the ice will destroy the nest.

We also have to work out all the technical stuff to bring the picture to you.  That work is already underway. So you will just have to be patient a little bit longer!

This is over 3 weeks earlier than last year and almost a month earlier than 2013 for ice out.

No doubt the loons are on the way and working their way north as ice goes out of lakes.

Since we banded the new female last year, it will be very interesting to see if both the same male and female come back to the nest this year.

Also, if you have not had a chance to check out the USGS's website to track the juvenile loons banded last summer, you will find that very interesting.

Conventional wisdom says that the juveniles will stay down on the Gulf of Mexico for 2 to 3 years before they come back to Minnesota.  But so very little is known of their true behavior. So it will be very instructive to watch them to see what happens.

USGS Juvenile Banded Loons


It gets very interesting now so stay tuned!

 Copyright 2015  Larry R Backlund