Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lake Cayuga, Part One Million

OK, maybe not one million, but it seems like it. I put in two more days circling Lake Cayuga looking for the elusive Eared Grebe (the Pacific Loon seems to be gone from the lake altogether), and despite it being seen recently, I skunked out again. That's not to say that I didn't see some interesting things...while photographing a flock of horned larks on Center Road the first day, I saw this deer suddenly run across the field in front of me. Looking back behing it, I saw what had been chasing it: a very disappointed looking coyote. The coyote turned and made its way back into the woods.

On the lake, the temperature was around 10F with a wind of about 20MPH, which means my gloved fingers go number after about 3 minutes standing outside and scoping. The Canada Geese were bearing it, as usual, despite being covered in frost and snow. Birds are out in every condition all the time, with no relief, and still seem to thrive. Mallards dive to feed just a few feet from packed ice in the middle of winter. A pair of Red Tailed Hawks sit by the side of the road, scanning patiently in the cold for an incautious mouse or bird. Back on the lake, a large flock of snow geese creates a white, feathered disk floating in the center of the chilly blue waters.

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