Last Thursday I returned to Billings Bridge to check out the water level of the Rideau River and to see if any Wood Ducks or Groundhogs were around. The water has indeed receded, and the small “lake” in the middle of the lawn has dried up. A large number of Canada Geese and Ring-billed Gulls were busy foraging in the grass, but the groundhogs were all still sleeping in their dens. After last week’s mild weather, the temperature has dropped below seasonal for the last few days, reaching only 0°C most days. A cold wind seemed to be blowing straight down from the Arctic, and I suspect the smarter mammals have decided to hibernate for another week.