Old Man Winter
Minnesota winters are harsh. I have seen 27 inches of snow in two days, and I have seen -50 F below zero with almost as low windchills. Not fit for man nor beast. Seems they used to be harsher when I was a kid. But back in the 70’s (yes, I’m that old) winters were fun. We had way more snow and way more cold. And yet it didn’t seem to bother us. We were ALWAYS outside, whether we were making snowmen, snow forts, sledding, etc. You name it, we did it. I remember for Christmas one year I wanted the new K-TEL block maker or whatever it was called. I got it and let me tell you, it was the best igloo maker around! Rarely did we have snow days when I was going to school. The big joke around here is when it gets up to 30, it is bikini time!
Last year we hardly got any snow. We had one big storm dubbed “The Leap Year” storm and that was it. Mild temperatures and less snow. We had 30′s and 40′s in January. Snowmobilers, ice fisherma, resort owners, and photographers like me were disappointed in the lack of snow we had. I bet we didn’t even have 20 inches. Everyone was joking that Old Man Winter had been laid to rest.
Well, I’m here to tell you that Old Man Winter is alive and well in Minnesota this year. We have had 30′s, and we have had frigid temperatures. I have been out walking the last couple weeks, warm and cold. One day was even 18 below zero on my lunch hour and I headed to the river to see what I could find. The only thing NOT normal is that we have had snow, but not as much as in other years. I am sure part of the global warming.
I have also sat on my deck watching the birds. Not many hang out with us in the winter season because of the cold. We keep the summer stand-by’s like the Northern Cardinal, Blue Jays, Black-Capped Chickadees, and White-Breasted Nuthatches. We acquire the snowbirds, down from Canada, like the Dark-Eyed Junco’s and Snow Buntings. And of course, we have the Owls and Woodpeckers in all their glory. I bought a heated bird bath the other day and just set it up. Will see if it makes a difference in birds on my deck.
At any rate, here are some photos that I particularly liked in the past few weeks, along with my iPhone weather report, LOL
My trip to the river, I think by the time I made it there at noon it was -10 below. I walked along the Mighty Mississippi taking photos of the steam coming up off the river, and of the swans seemingly totally oblivious to the fact that it was bitterly cold outside. The water was warmer than the air temp at that time.
Another day it was in the 20′s and nice and balmy, I checked out my favorite park and it didn’t disappoint. LOTS of woodpeckers to be seen, although far away so I couldn’t get any photos. I had all I could do to get back to work on time that day.
And the day on my deck, taking photos of the Dark-Eyed Juncos and Black Capped Chickadees flitting around my deck, I’d say it was about 15 degrees above zero and snowing.
As I sit here ready to upload this blog, it is about 10 degrees. The weather this week looks to be in the 20′s and 30′s all week. I plan a couple days for walking at lunch. Back to my favorite park to try my luck in viewing the Pileated Woodpecker that frequents the park up close and personal. Saturday, my sidekick and I are headed on a 5K for our local community. The big thing around here is jumping in the lake at the Shiver Elk River every year. My sidekick wanted to do it, I was afraid I would have a heart attack! So we settled on the 5K. However, if I am in the vicinity of the plungers, I will definitely take it upon myself to take a few shots!
Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the week!