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Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Tuesday, 9:30 AM.  38 degrees F at the ferry dock, 34 on the back porch.  Wind SW, gusty.  The sky has low clouds and a higher overcast; it is foggy over the channel, and it is now raining fairly hard off and on.  It was wet enough to cut our morning walk short, but we don't have to shovel snow, which is still predicted for tonight and tomorrow morning.
   Today is the first day of the month of December, the month of the Little Spirit Moon, manidoo-giizisoons, in the Ojibway language of our neighbors on the Rez.  November was, appropriately, The Ice is Forming Moon, gashkadino-giizis.  There was enough ice along the south shore of the Bay at Ashland yesterday morning that the remaining geese were standing or laying on the ice.
   We see lots of migrating swans in the spring, but not many in the fall.  I assume they take advantage of prevailing winds and simply pass over us to reach more hospitable locales; so I was somewhat surprised to see a flock of more than two dozen of the magnificent birds loafing on the lower Chequamegon Bay off the Ashland lakefront yesterday. They were mostly in small groups of four or five, that I assume were families, the family groups traveling together making up a fairly large flock.
   Sorry, no long range lens for my little camera, but you get the picture, I am sure. Note the black bills of the native swans; the European mute swans have yellow bills.

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