Transitions … Falling into Winter!

The sun finally made its rumored reappearance yesterday in northern Minnesota. As the mercury soared to 59F and I took my daily bike ride up the North Shore of Lake Superior on Scenic 61 basking in the warmth (and wearing shorts of November 1st!), it was hard to believe that in all likelihood by the end of this month I was be cross-country skiing. During my ride I saw some late blooming black-eyed susans, and even a few dragonflies. Weird!

The birds know that this weather is only a tease. The Northwoods have long since been emptied of summer songbirds. Instead snow buntings, visitors from the Arctic, some of our last migrants have appeared along our roadsides. On hwy #7 in Sax-Zim Bog, I watched a flock of 250+ of there white fluffballs forage for seeds. Thankfully, I found one lone errant snow bunting which allowed me to get closer for taking a photo.

A magpie forages in a farm field … Sax-Zim Bog

As sunset approached I took a quick swing up and back to Two Harbors. Hawks, particularly red-tailed and rough-legged hawks often use the large grassy areas along the expressway for some late afternoon hunting. Such was the case with this red-tailed.

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