Less than three weeks ago, we were shedding jackets paddling up to Ghost Bay in our kayaks. And on Friday, November 10th, this! Our weather station said it was 12 degrees just before dawn. Official reports put it at 8.

On Saturday, Long Lake played host to a raft of Buffleheads, both male and female. They were bobbing up and down like crazy, no doubt trying to bulk up for the rest of their migration south. These tiny, big-headed ducks pass through in spring and fall–with the occasional itinerant individuals at other times. The males have that big white bonnet on the sides and back of their head. The females have the smaller, white side-patches on their heads. We don’t typically see this many in one group.

And then? And then, first came one lone Canada Goose paddling around the bay in front of our cottage in the north end of the lake just beyond the narrows. Maybe a scout? We hoped not. Next there were three. And then, this.

They aren’t coming ashore, yet, even though they may look like they are thinking about it. Maybe our adirondack sentinels and the beginning of our snow fence will keep them at bay. In bay, rather. “These aren’t the lawns you’re looking for…move along.”

A Bunch ‘o Buffleheads

Buffleheads.  The lake was chock full of Buffleheads this weekend.   When they land on the water, they stick their feet out in front of their bodies and skid to a stop.  They dabble around the shallows–but not usually right in front of the cottage.  They are shy skittery critters.  Five minutes before I snapped this photo from inside the house, a pile of them flew off, apparently spooked by the quick movement of a robin.  Yes, a robin.  A bird about 20 percent their size, hopping around on the grass near the shore.  They are monkey see monkey do sort of ducks.  One dives, they all dive.  One bobs up, so do the others.   And when one flies away, there go the rest: