It was a bright, sunny 0 F (-17C) when I walked up the trail to visit the Trumpeter Swans at Sucker Lake creek, the only open water in this area of the metro. The snow didn’t so much crunch as it squeaked under my feet, but the cold doesn’t seem to bother the waterfowl at all.
The scene looked much like it did last January, but there were only a fraction of the swans I saw then.
Swans glided gracefully along the slow-moving creek above and below the bridge across it. Beavers have been hard at work in this area, felling the birch trees; I wonder if this will impact the creek flow at some point this winter.
Their muted trumpets playing back and forth across the creek sounded like the brass solos of some orchestral piece.
Swans seemed to stick together in small family groups.
It is amazing how quickly they acclimate to the presence of humans just a few feet away. Perhaps the same birds were here last year; the young ones (grayer) probably take their cues from the adults.
I didn’t stay too long today; my hands and feet were cold. Only 6 days from the solstice, this is as high as the sun gets at 45 degrees north latitude at noon (21.5 degrees from the horizon).