Thursday, March 16, 2017 3:15 pm CDT

43 degrees F  Sunny and Clear  Wind 3 mph SE

Sunrise  7:23 am CDT   Sunset  7:21 pm CDT



Welcome to the latest 'production' at the Minnesota theater!

We have had a very mild winter here at Loon Lake.

Very little snow.  And mild temperatures for January and February.

There hasn't been any snow on the ground for weeks.  Ice fishermen were out on the lake fishing just 2 weeks ago.

Then on Sunday and Monday (5th and 6th) the temperature was in the 60s.  Daffodils, crocus and tulips were peeking out of the ground.

But late in the day on Monday, storms moved in and there were widespread tornado warnings. One tornado touched down not more than 20 miles from Loon Lake!  Way too close.

I could see the dark low-hanging clouds and it was obvious that areas were getting very heavy rain and hail.  Some areas even got softball size hail!

But here at the lake, all was calm.  NO rain. NO wind.  NO hail. NO storm.  But it was more than close enough when you can see and hear it in the distance.

Temperatures started to drop the next day and HIGH winds picked up as the storm system moved out of the area.

On Tuesday the 8th, the wind blew hard all day long.  It was strong enough to start breaking up the ice.  Which was strange since the ice was still solid up to shore.  Usually the ice melts around shore before it ever starts to move and break up.

But these high winds broke it up and by the end of the day, the lake was mostly open!

Except for here.  Here the ice was still frozen right up to shore.  So even if I wanted to (which I didn't), I could not have put the loon nest in the lake. There was still solid ice.   Plus it was still much too early.

I just hoped that the loons also thought it was too early and would not come back right away.

I kept watching for them but even if they had been on the lake, I probably would not have seen them since the wind continued for days and with all the high waves it is impossible to pick them out among the waves.

So far there have been no reports that loons are on the move.  And that is good with the cold weather that has descended down across the country!

Because by this last Sunday the lake was once again frozen over!  And it is still completely frozen.

The last several days have had low temperatures down as low as zero!

I even saw my first robin day before yesterday, the morning that it was zero here!  I think he was having second thoughts about having come so early!

Temperatures are supposed to return to closer to normal over this weekend.  So the ice may not last too long.  But as far as I am concerned, it can still wait a couple weeks.  That would make it closer to normal ice out dates.

But we are getting closer to another exciting loon season.  Spring officially arrives on Monday but here in the "north country" we usually do not consider spring to really have arrived until sometime in April.  March can be one of our snowiest months.  And we need the snow.

Catch up on your sleep because loon time will be here before we know it.  Tell your family and friends to get ready.  Tell your kid's teachers.  Tell everyone.

This year probably will be a VERY interesting and unusual year.

As most of you remember, our beloved male from the LoonCam was killed in August of 2015.

The female came back last year and took some ownership of the nest but she did not have a mate so we had no loons using the nest last year.

However, there were TWO other pairs of loons that took some interest in the nest and some ownership of it.

So when the loons come back,  we could be in for a BATTLE ROYALE over who will actually 'own' it and use it this year.

It should be very interesting and educational.  But it could also be brutal if they battle over the nest.

Who knows what will happen?

That is what makes watching the LoonCam so exciting!  Most of the time it is like watching paint dry or grass grow (BEAUTIFUL paint and grass!).

But then comes that moment of surprise and excitement.  And you don't want to miss a minute of it!

So get ready!



Copyright Larry R Backlund  2017