Saturday, April 04, 2009

Lovely weather for ducks

A lovely morning in the metro. It was right around freezing this morning with relatively light winds, a little bit of sunshine, and gradually turned cloudy.

I ran 18 miles, and it was a really good run. I felt a lot more energized than I did last week; better speed, good stamina, and didn't feel at all tired afterward. So today was quite productive.

The title of my post is misleading. Usually, that phrase is indicative of miserable, wet weather. As noted, today was anything but miserable or wet. I just happened to see a lot of ducks (and other waterbirds), so it must be good weather for them!

A gorgeous sunrise over Fish Lake this morning with geese on the pond

A couple firsts for me this season; the common mergansers (lots of these guys today), as well as a few cute little buffleheads. They were enjoying the open water with plenty of geese, mallards, herring gulls, and a even a couple of swans.

Steve had noted in a comment on my blog that he saw a loon (our official state bird) on Wednesday. I finally saw my first of the year today! Three of them, if fact. That is a good sign. They will gradually be making their way north as the northern lakes being to clear of ice.

(Speaking of ice, I noticed yesterday that the ice was just about cleared off of the lake along my running route. This is almost a week and a half earlier than last year. Here is some more grainy video footage I shot on Friday afternoon!)

Another new sighting that was not a waterbird is the tree swallow. They literally just arrived in my neighborhood today. The area I run though is a prime nesting ground, and there are many birdhouses erected for them in the park. I ran through here yesterday afternoon, and there was no sign of them. Today, I saw dozens.

I do have to mention one more wildlife sighting, this one a mammal. I had a mink run up to me! I was passing a swamp, and this slinky little weasel loped out of the brush and up on to the trail, coming right for me. He stopped just about 10 feet in front of me and just stared with a sort of bewildered "What are YOU doing here?!?" expression on his face. I also stopped and chatted with him, and soon he scuttled off. Of course, I couldn't get my camera ready in time, but it was still fun. Weasels are cool.

Tonight's dinner; Manicotti from Giada De Laurentiis. However, I made mine with Italian sausage, took a few liberties with the cheese (added asiago, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Pecorino Romano), and added fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and a whole bunch of crushed red pepper to spice things up. I am sure Giada wouldn't mind.

Giada's Manicotti

Until next time,

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