NOSE INTO THE WIND Oct.30,2012 DATE: Oct. 30, 2012 – Entry 1 MIGRATION DAY 33/DOWN DAY 4 FLOWN TODAY: 0 miles ACCUMULATED: 289 miles LOCATION: Piatt County, IL REPORTER: Liz Condie Our motorhomes and travel trailers needed to be ‘nose into the wind’ this morning. Looking at the imagery on the weather map very early this morning one could see the effects of Hurricane Sandy were being felt as far north as Canada and as far south as Florida. Aloft the wind was in the ‘yellow to orange zone,’ which translated, meant anywhere from 40 to 60 mph. And, even now, it doesn’t feel like it’s much less than that on the ground. The wind is ferocious. The Jamboree motorhome had run out of propane during the night – brrrr, so out into the maelstrom I went. Wrench in hand, I was detaching the empty propane bottle to replace it with a full one when I heard a loud racket. Peering around in the dark, I saw something big and white banging its way along the ground. It was the hard plastic hood that protects the two 30 lb. propane bottles on the front of the Sierra travel trailer when it’s on the road. There I was in my hoodie, pyjamas legs a-flapping, chasing it Charlie Chaplin-esque across the camp parking lot in order to capture it. (A sight that might have produced a video clip worthy of America’s Funniest Videos.) Here in Piatt County it’s likely that anything not nailed or tied down will be found some distance to the south. WOOD BUFFALO-ARANSAS POPULATION UPDATE Chester McConnell recently posted news on the Wood Buffalo-Aransas Population of Whooping cranes on behalf of the Whooping Crane Conservation Association (WCCA) In his posting, Chester reported that the western flock of Whooping cranes are on the move southward. They have been spotted all along their migration pathway with reports of sightings of cranes from the Canadian Province of Saskatchewan to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Martha Tacha with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Nebraska said, “The Whooping cranes with GPS transmitters are on the move, with the bulk of these cranes in North Dakota and South Dakotka. Two are already in Texas. We know that one non-banded crane recently stopped over at a lake near Oklahoma City. While the early confirmed sightings have been single birds, there was a group of nine adult-plumaged Whoopers in northern North Dakota recently.” To read McConnell’s full report, visit the website of the WCCA. To read the latest bulletin released by the Aransas NWR, click here.