Thursday, December 7, 2017 2:27 pm CST


19 degrees F   Partly Sunny   Wind 5 mph SW

Sunrise  7:40 am CST    Sunset  4:32 pm CST


I guess we can say that winter is officially here!

Overnight the lake froze over.

This is the 4th time it has frozen over during the last several weeks but each time wind would come up and break up the ice and open the lake again.

But I think this time the ice is here to stay.

Yesterday the lake was almost completely open with some strong winds that blew in a cold front and brought snow and cold.

We had a high temperature of 52 degrees just 3 days ago.  This morning it was down to 3 degrees.  So things have changed.

The weather this fall has been all over the place here at "Loon Lake".  The first half of November was unusually cold and even had some snow.  The lake froze over for the "first time" on November 12th.

Then the second half of the month was warmer than normal.

Even as I write this now there are 20 swans sitting on the ice out in the middle of the lake.  I think they are confused too about how quickly things have changed. 

Yesterday they had almost an entire lake of open water.  Today it is all ice.

About half of them are walking around and the other half are sitting on the ice.  Some of them even have their heads tucked under their wings.  I am not sure if it is to keep warm or if they are sleeping.

But they all seem to be ok.

We have not seen our beloved loons for sometime.

The last time I saw our loons here was on Thursday, October 19th.

There were THREE juvenile loons swimming together.  I assume 2 of them were our LoonCam chicks and the other was probably a juvenile from another lake that was starting to think about migrating south.

The second week in October we spent a few days at the Gunflint Lodge up along the Canadian border.

When we arrived, their on staff naturalist John was just returning from taking a group on a pontoon tour of the lake.  He saw me and came over to tell me that he had seen one adult loon while they were out.  And that loon was starting to molt and was changing its color.  He said you could see the gray along the cheeks and neck of the loon.

As you already know from what we have talked about in the past, loons completely molt their feathers twice a year.  Right now they have already changed or are changing their striking black and white plumage into drab gray plumage for the winter months that they are down south.

And then next spring before they come back north to their home territories they will return to their beautiful black and white plumage.  One of the many miracles of loons.

Another miracle is the three juveniles that I talked about.

The adults leave about a month BEFORE the juveniles on their migration down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Then when the juveniles fly south, somehow miraculously they are able to find their way on their own, having NEVER been down to the Gulf of Mexico before.

It is one of many things that I say "God I don't know how you did it.  But You DONE GOOD!"

I have some other things to share with you.  But I will save them for another time.

On this anniversary of Pearl Harbor, we give thanks for all those who have given so much to keep us free.  Some of whom have given the ultimate sacrifice.

At this very special time of year, I hope that you have a wonderful time with family and friends.  Cherish each day and each minute.  We are never guaranteed more.

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Copyright 2017  Larry R Backlund