After I dropped Anne off at school this morning, I drove up to the Riverlands. I got there not too long after dawn. The Mississippi was high, but wasn’t in flood. This seemed strange, since we have been experiencing red flag warning for the last couple of days. These warnings result from a combination of dry tinder, low humidity and high winds, similar conditions to those in California, except for no spark yet. I didn’t see any ice on the river, but the inland sloughs were halfway covered. There was a myriad of swans, geese and other water fowl on these waters. The Trumpeter swans roost overnight on these sloughs, but come dawn they fly off to the surrounding cornfields, in search of fodder. Most of the trails in the Riverlands are closed to the public at this time of the year, giving winter migratory birds plenty of sanctuary, but you can still see plenty from the road.