Whitecaps and Ice

Monongahela River in winter, Pittsburgh (photo by Kate St. John)
Day after day we've had unusually cold weather with highs in the teens and windchill as low as minus 10.  This may be springlike in the Arctic but it's too cold for Pittsburgh. 

Most people stayed indoors yesterday but I was itching for a walk so I bundled up and trudged from my home in Greenfield across the Hot Metal Bridge to South Side's riverfront park. 

I was hoping to see some really good birds but that was not to be.  Instead I was treated to whitecaps and ice. 

Yow! it was cold!  I tried to show the whitecaps in this picture but I couldn't zoom my cell phone camera with my gloves on and my eyes watered as I faced the wind.  I'm lucky the camera could focus.

See that white skim on the river?  That's ice.  Beyond it is a raft of ring-billed gulls riding the waves.  Periodically they lift off and ride the wind instead. 

Behind me a flock of mallards wait for their patrons to arrive with a handout of bread.  Canada geese fly to the river or fly back to the grass at the Technology Center.  A mockingbird "chakks" to claim his patch of oriental bittersweet.

If I'm brave I'll go back to the park later this week to see what new birds show up.  The colder it gets the more likely a really good bird will arrive to take advantage of the open water.   


(photo by Kate St. John)

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