Saturday, December 5, 2009

News from The Lake.

Last night we heard that we were in for the first snowfall of the season. The weather man said that we were to be the recipient of first, 1 to 2 inches, then 1 to 3 inches and finally 2 to 4 inches. The snow was going to start, "Before sunrise." on Saturday. My usual comment is "no way" and as usual this was my comment then. I awoke at sunrise to find that it was - raining - and the thermometer on our bedroom window informed me that it was 48 degrees! Didn't look like snow to me! But checking the Weather Channel I found that we were still expected to get snow but not until this afternoon and tonight.
Looking out at the dismal looking Lake and wet lawn I did not relish the thought of snow, especially as we were scheduled to visit dear friends Jane and Bill in Severna Park. Fortunately I think they have a spare bedroom and if that is already taken a camper sits outside their lovely home. So if snow does in fact arrive in force (Doubtful in my reckoning) and we get "snowed in" we will have a place to stay!
While thinking these dismal thoughts I observed through the rain two white "lumps" floating on The Lake. Looking through the binoculars they came into focus as the missing Swans. I watched them for a few minutes as they ignored the rain (Why would they care about rain?) and dunked their heads and necks repeatedly into the water, presumably looking for their breakfast. We hope that they are back for the winter. They were here all last winter and this summer but disappeared in the fall and winter, only appearing from time to time, usually for just a few days. While scanning the rest of The Lake I saw four Ducks in group near the middle. I have seen these Ducks several times but am not sure what they are. The bird book shows pictures of many Ducks, the closest to these seems to be the Bufflehead.
Well it is now midday and it has started sleeting. The temperature has dropped to 41 degrees. The weather channel is still calling for snow later today. In fact they have just said that there is snow in Georgia, Virginia, parts of Maryland and that sleet which has just started in our area is expected to change to snow later.
Meanwhile the birds are still enjoying The Lake and the Buffleheads, if that is indeed what they are, and the Swans have been joined by a few Diving Ducks and a couple of huge Seagulls. Now the sleet has already changed to full fledged Snow, big white flakes of driving snow. The wind goes from quite strong to low so the snow varies from falling at about 45 degrees to being almost horizontal. It is beginning to look as though our visit to Jane & Bill may have to be called off. If the snow continues at its present rate we may indeed see 2 to 4 inches by this evening and as we don't have a 4 wheel drive we may have to cancel rather than take an unnecessary risk. We will see.