Early spring can be a harsh time in the Midwest. It can take both people and animals by surprise with its unexpected snowstorms.
My house is built so that my backyard overlooks a large retention pond, and every spring, migratory fowl camp out in the pond on the way to their summer homes. This year, in addition to a number of geese and mallards, the pond was a wayside rest for hundreds of scaups, a type of diving duck. They spent several days hanging out, disappearing underwater in their search for tasty morsels and clustering around what I can only assume were good eats.
And then the snowstorm hit, followed by a blisteringly cold night. As the temperature dipped to 5 degrees and the open water of the pond shrank away into icy desolation, the scaups took off for a more hospitable habitat.