exploring our amazing natural spaces

Archive for December, 2012

Picking up a few extra calories

With good snow on the ground and nights in the sub zero range woodpeckers like this Pileated work the suet cage stocking up on much needed fat calories to insulate against those cold winter nights.


Stocking up for winter

Up north we’ve had a few nights below zero freezing the lakes enough for winter activities like ice fishing and snowmobiling. This American red squirrel spent the morning running along the deck rail chasing nuthatch, grosbeaks and chickadees away from “his” stash of nuts and seeds.


Santa sighting

I can confirm a Santa sighting on an East Metro ski trail on Christmas Eve. He was wearing Alpina combi boots and Fischer skate skis and as he swooshed down the trail we heard him say with delight “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”. Nice technique Santa.

Santa sighting Christmas Eve 2012

Waiting it out

A male Cardinal looking a little ruffled by a passing December rain storm seeks shelter under the roof of a bird feeder.

waiting it out

Beached for the season

This dock at the public launch looks like it’s ready to put a toe in the water to see if winter is actually on the way. The lake has gained an ice skin a few times but then 40s and sun appear to thaw it back again. Deep lakes like this one will require some cold nights AND cold days to put it into a proper winter deep freeze.

boat launch dock

It’s starting to look a lot like….

…winter out there with a snow total of 17″ here in Lake Elmo.  The skis are waxed and ready to go with more snow in this one storm than all of last winter in the metro.

backyard winter