Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring - One Week Later

When we arrived back in Oakwood last Sunday the Robins were waiting for us, the lake was still covered with ice, although it had taken on that leaden dull look that it gets as it rots away. In most years this would be precursor to a week of patches of open water and crushed ice being blown back and forth cross the lake. This year the temperatures were running into the high 70s and lake was open water by Tuesday. By Wednesday the small ducks of the northern lakes were here. I thought they were Goldeneyes, flying in small squadrons, like winged bullets shooting just over the surface. They are small ducks - very fast,  often called Whistlers for the sound their wings make cutting through the wind. Lorna said she thought they were Buffleheads. She's probably right, because I'm a little blind and was relying more on a "Blink" identification. Either way, they are close cousins and both are headed for the boreal forest lakes of northern Minnesota and Canada and need to get any jump they can get on the short nesting season. 

By Thursday the Wood Ducks were here, already nicely paired off and flying from oak to oak nervously checking the various natural tree cavities and nesting boxes scattered in backyards along the lake. This photo is a little fuzzy because I shot it from our bedroom through two panes of glass and a window screen. That has a tendency to knock down the clarity a little.

Today, one week after we returned, the Crocuses and Hepatica are starting to bloom. It's Spring in Oakwood.


George A said...

We never had winter. We went from fall straight into spring. Pleasant not to have to shovel anything but I'm nervous about the impending summer--sort of like one of Cotton Mather's "sinners in the hands of an angry God". We might have gotten away with a "Florida" winter but we'll probably also have a "Mississippi delta" summer. If so I'll spin it as good preparation for the afterlife...

Gunnar Berg said...

By Minnesota standards there was no winter here either - so they tell me anyway. I do know that there were 80F temps yesterday nearby, which set records. The golf course are open. It feels like May.