Photo courtesy of Jerry and Katie Mensen

   We live in the North. We have come to expect this from April. One day, 50 degrees and sunny. The next, up to two feet of snow gets dumped on us. That’s what happened, of course, this past weekend. And that’s why that plumped-up robin in the photo above must have been wondering what he migrated back to.

     Duluth escaped most of the snow. All we got was a slushy inch or so over the hill, even less down below in the rain belt.

      Yes, we need the moisture. It will be good for the land, the rivers and for Lake Superior. But you have to wonder when places like the Iron Range get a third of their entire winter’s snowfall in April — in two days.

      So, we dig out and get on with it.

       Meanwhile, critters must deal with it too. Here are a few observations I’ve received over the past three or four days from readers across our area.

       Shirley Shusta of Ely saw her first robin on April 5.

       Deanna Worm of Wrenshall saw two northern harriers (marsh hawks) a few miles south of Wrenshall on April 4.

    Jon "Gary" Larson of Sandstone saw his first dark-eyed juncos on April 1, and by April 4, he had 30 of them feeding on the ground beneath his bird feedes. He also pulled the first two deer ticks off his outdoor cat, Alley Cat, on April 4.

     Red-winged blackbirds are back in Carlton County and "singing their hearts out," according to Len and Nora Kubazewski of Wrenshall. They filed that report on April 4.

     In Duluth, a rare black scoter was seen on April 4 by Kim Eckert at the WLSSD sewage treatment plant in Dululth.

     All of those birds may wonder a bit if they’ve overshot their migration plans, but sooner or later spring will re-assert itself.


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