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