Monday, April 7, 2008

Return of the Swans

On our way home from Whitehorse we went down to the "bridge " to pick up our mail. There were a few swans feeding in the 6 Mile River (it connects Tagish and Marsh lakes). These are just the first arrivals. In the next couple of weeks there will be so many of these beautiful huge white birds that they cover the river. You can see then flying over between favorite feeding spots in Carcross, Tagish and at Marsh lake.
The river is quite shallow and the water stays open most of the winter. Upwelling from the big lake brings up warmer water. It is NEVER safe to cross it, no matter how iced in it looks. These first birds are the Trumpters. The Tundra swans come a bit later. You can tell their 'kids' from last year as they are still greyish. Once, about 15 years ago, we got a very cold snap at the peak of the migration. The first birds couldn't move on and the later birds just kept on coming. There were over 2,000 big swans in the river at one time. I drove my dogteam along the edge and got a very close look at them. The noise was amazing. Snowmachines scare them so you aren't supposed to drive down there when the birds are in. Loose dogs are another very bad idea. Dogteams don't seem to bother them.
The days are really getting longer. Woke up to sunrise at 6ish, working outside in the light until 9:30 last night. Above freezing in the daytime, snow malting and we are finding all the stuff we forgot to pick up in the yard last fall, all things we needed during the winter of course. The sun is so bright and the sky so blue, the best time of the year, impossible to work in the house or shop.
Tomorrow will post some pictures of the kids at school tying flies, now that is some fun!

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