Thursday, February 11, 2021

Life between the lakes, part 22




Life between the lakes, part 22

For the last three days, snow has been falling in Deer Park in in almost every variation possible. It’s been wet and heavy and light and fluffy. There have been flurries, blizzards and whiteout conditions. It has been blowing sideways in each direction, swirling in slow, vast circles and even moving upward back toward the clouds.

The snow drifts in the dog run are already up and over the fence while the drift against the house is almost up to my kitchen window. Jack and Needa have surprised me; going the distance in our morning and afternoon miles in this bitter cold. I’ve always known they enjoy the low temps and with this arctic blast, they are champions at getting their steps in every day.

This afternoon was unusual. Visibility on the road was only about 100 yards but the sun would occasionally win the battle and stick around for small pockets of time as small wisps of blue sky struggled to do the same.

I went down to the big lake yesterday. The waves pounding the shore were big enough to rival all of Hawaii and the ice shelf was about neck high and growing from the beating it was taking.

Lake Superior still has a lot of open water and will continue to freeze in a big way over the next week. When it happens it creates amazing sights with ice cover on everything along the shoreline.

This is a rare photo of a family or Arctic Flavins I saw on Lake Superior. About every ten years they make their way through this area on their way to Whitefish Bay. Lake Superior is only at about a 10% freeze right now, so many hard shelled land/water mammals/reptiles and amphibians are able to travel long distances when conditions permit.

They eventually make it into the ocean if they survive the rough conditions in the St. Lawrence Seaway, after using their suction cup appendages to catch free rides on freighters as they work their way down the Great Lakes.

They have sensitive eyes and run for cover if they see you. This is why their faces are rarely seen. On rare occasions when the weather is warm, these fascinating, docile and gregarious creatures often come right up to rock hunters who work the shoreline of Deer Park on Lake Superior.  In the summer they beg for food, giggle like a grandkid, enjoy rum and love listening to Steely Dan.

Reporting live from Deer Park, I am Peter Wurdock, your suave, northern reporter who never lets the truth get in the way of a good story.

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