It continues to be very cold and wet here on the lake. The nights have been below freezing and the days just barely above it. Nasty, nasty weather. Since we have had a noticeable and uncharacteristic fall and a very long and unpleasant winter, I am hoping for a beautiful spring!
Although it has been freezing and wet, Hester and Arthur continue to be faithful. They had been coming by 2-3 times a day. This morning while I was getting ready to go outside and feed them as usual, I saw Hester take off in flight! Arthur of course followed her. She flew around the cove in a wide circle 3 times and then landed on the over side of the cove. I was astonished! This was the first time I had witnessed her flying since she began nesting! She swam back over and I was hoping she would fly up and I would be able to feed her like before. I threw some bread up in the air so she would see it and prompt her to come up. She did a little head bobbling like she would do before flying up but she didn't follow through. The only thing it did was to attract a big black crow. That crow was pretty determined to get the bread. I would shoe him away but he first just flew up on top of the light pole. I took my stick and waved at him and he flew about 5 ft further. It took 4 more times to get him discouraged enough to leave. I then gathered up the bread and give it to a very patient Hester a piece at a time. She ate her fill and instead of swimming off in the direction of her nest, she swam to the other side of the cove. Later in the morning I looked out of my window and she was back. I quickly slipped on my shoes and put on my coat. I opened the door and she again took off in flight! I wonder if the consecutive freezing cold weather has had an impact on her eggs or if a predator got to them. She is definitely acting different. I will continue to try to entice her back up and feed like she use to. I miss being able to hand feed her.