This is the dash of our Subaru Forester registering the temperature on Saturday at 7:52 in the morning. Yep. Minus 22. Officially it was only minus 14, but we’re not Alpena, where the National Weather Service reports out the weather. Our mild winter has suddenly turned frigid.
It seemed like a good time to think back to last summer, now that the lake is frozen and the ice fisherman are taking walleye and perch from the lake. Well, too cold for that right now.
Great Blue Herons are very patient fishermen. They will stand still for long periods waiting for fish or frogs or small snakes to mistake their twiggy feet for twigs and venture close. This one was startled in Ghost Bay and moved to a new fishing spot while Steve snapped photos.
Great Blue Herons are the largest herons in North America. When you see a big bird flying over Long Lake (or anywhere) with its neck curled into a tight “s” shape, trailing long legs behind, that will be a Great Blue. That neck position makes for a more aerodynamic flight. And the neck flexibility helps them pounce on prey from a distance.
These are very big birds. Cornell’s Ornithology Lab site says they have wingspans from 65 to 80 inches. They mostly forage alone and have a high number of rod-type photo-receptors in their eyes that allows them to hunt on the edge of Long Lake even in the dark.