Hunched against 40-m.p.h. gusts of wind, I headed for the western lake shore to see how many feathers were being ruffled. From afar, the lake appeared as two swaths, one of pale sapphire and the other of deep lapiz, joined with a scattering of blazing white mosaic.
On closer view, the deep blue was open water and the pale expanse was thin ice, encrusted with an enormous flock of gulls. The wind had everyone pretty restless; first the gulls rose and wheeled overhead, then a platoon of pigeons, and finally about three dozen geese.
But not these geese; they were truckin' toward shore, visibly discomfited by the frigid road surface. (At rest, they'd stand on one webbed foot at a time to warm up the other.)
The ducks were tucking it all in. (Check out the gloss on their breast feathers from the oil that helps repel the freezing water.) Even the honks and quacks sounded brittle and rusty in the cold. Since I was the only lunatic on shore, they started bestirring themselves to come up and panhandle, so I left before they could get too disappointed.
I went home and made a nice, hot cup of coffee, and half expected to turn around and see a pack of feathered friends in the kitchen, mooching a sip of java.