Trying desperately to ski.
The huge snow we were blessed with this month has become an unwieldy, wet mess that is decidedly NOT optimal (or even so-so) for cross-country skiing. My skis are waxless, which is not helping. I tried very VERY hard to make skiing work over the weekend. I just wound up frustrated.
Venturing to Faulkes Heritage Woods in search of a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers.
No luck. A very nice couple was out plowing their driveway next to the woods & told us they’ve seen the woodpeckers a few times at their yard feeders this year. We’ll be back.
Building outdoor bonfires & cooking polish for dinner under the moonlight.
Saturday evening was such a great night.
Chasing more rare gulls.
We got word of several rare gulls at Cedar Lake (a pathetic excuse for a lake, owned by the local power company & leased to the city; it is actually “a river slough that was modified around 1890 to become a cooling lake for the Sixth Street power generating station” according to the city’s website). We raced over after Merritt got off school, not realizing the gulls are gone during the day & only return to the lake to roost at night. The rare gulls we spotted (a Greater Black-backed, a Lesser Black-backed, & a Glaucous) flew in well after 6pm. It was nearly dark. We were freezing. I could barely hold my binoculars steady. My legs had basically froze off an hour before. But it was so worth it. While we waited, we observed some local gluttonous Canada Geese eating corn off the top of a train car parked nearby. The older kids found it crazy.
This is a terrible photo taken with a crappy cell phone through a scope in the waning light. This Glaucous Gull is a juvenile. A HUGE gull. There were at least six or seven local, experienced bird watchers/birders also at the lake that night (Monday). They were extremely helpful individuals. I don’t think we would have located all three rarities without their knowledge & assistance. The birding world is such an awesome place. I did manage to spot the Lesser Black-backed Gull (an adult) by myself as it flew in before anyone else. That felt good. 🙂
How does February find you?