Post Groundhog Day Post

Thursday, February 2nd, was my designated lakefront morning because the forecast was for sunshine. The sun did eventually show up, but not in time for the local groundhog, who did not see his shadow and therefore predicted an early spring for Illinois. Conversely, the official national groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. If it’s six more weeks of what has passed for winter around here, it may as well be spring.

Down at the lakefront, ’twas all foggy and clouded over. Last week’s ice was all but gone. There was just enough for the gulls to walk on.

Gulls on the ice...

The crow could not find his shadow.

The geese could not see their shadows either, but they saw their reflections.

a patch of ice just big enough for two...

The mallard didn’t see her shadow.

Here she is sans reflection or shadow.

The skyline barely broke through the fog.

Let’s check back and see what winter looks like six weeks from now.

In the meantime, today was another cloudy day. I managed to get a picture of the local Cooper’s Hawk backlit against the grey sky.

Between ice and open water

This on-again, off-again winter, hurried down to the lakefront to see the ice before it melts away.

Birds gather farther away from the shoreline in the open water. I could make out the Canada Geese, Common Mergansers and Herring Gulls but missed the reported Scaup and Snowy Owl Friday morning.

The ice cover has a moonscape look to it.

The fissures create unusual patterns as the water laps up in between the seams, from smooth to jagged like broken glass.

A crow on the lakefront.

And White-Wing absconding with her hot dog reward.

Yesterday I visited Brookfield Zoo. There’s a little lake at the edges of the zoo grounds by the Salt Creek, where a portion of the water is kept open.

A Hooded Merganser.

The female Hooded Merganser. Female Mergansers in general always look like they were just at the hairdresser.

A Northern Shoveler barely stood out among the Mallards.

Adding the only musical note to this post, the Trumpeter Swan. And trumpet he did.

A Red-Bellied Woodpecker.

Away from the lake, but outdoors in the cement pond area, the preening American White Pelicans have the last word.