I have been wanting to visit the Trumpeter swans that overwinter on the Mississippi River at Monticello, MN for some time, and since the weather doesn’t seem like it will ever warm up, a friend and I braved the -12F temperature (-30 F with wind) chill to take some photos.
The view right along the Mississippi River at sunrise. Most of the river is frozen, but the swans keeps a narrow channel open near shore.
A few minutes later, the golden light turned the river ice/snow pink. Most of the swans were still sleeping on the ice, along with a few Canada Geese.
Still sleeping, even though the volume of trumpeting is so loud we have to shout to be heard.
Trumpeter swans congregate here largely because they are being fed corn once a day by a kindly gentleman. This tradition was started more than 20 years ago by one swan-loving woman, and has grown to such an enterprise that the 1200 pounds of corn doled out per week supports several thousand birds. You can read more about her efforts here.
The intrepid photographer/blogger at work, beneath 5 layers of clothes just barely keeping her warm. There were several retreats to a warm coffee shop during the 5 hours we spent here.