Winter’s last blast, for real this time.

Wow, that was cold! The thermometer said 9°F this morning, but the stiff breeze out of the north made if feel as though it was well below zero. The sun rose right on schedule, at 6:09 AM, and I was out the door soon after that, but I didn’t even hear a cardinal singing until after 7, let alone a robin or a red-winged blackbird. Them birds was froze!

Nevertheless, our recent resident great blue heron was already on the river at the south end when I went by, and it was still there when the light was much better on my way back home. Here it is on the far shore and seeming to ask, “Where the heck did all this fresh ice come from?”

“Sorry, buddy, but you probably know better than I do just how darn fickle Mother Nature can be.”

At the far north end, I counted over 100 Canada geese sleeping on the ice around the northern island, along with a few mallards, goldeneyes, common mergansers, hooded mergansers, and even a pair of buffleheads all on the water. I didn’t want to disturb all those slumbering geese, so I didn’t really get close enough for any pictures.

Instead, back on shore, there was a pair of nuthatches chattering to each other in a tree over the path, and this male really liked the spot he had and was not going to give it up.

Finally, by the pond, this robin appears to have given up trying to pry any worms out of the frozen ground and was sampling the staghorn sumac for a change.

I know that’s not a lot of pictures, but my fingers couldn’t take much more today. The good news, however, is that in the 10-day forecast, I don’t see a low temperature below freezing, so this really could be winters last blast.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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