Monday, April 13, 2009 8:10AM

Cloudy   39 degrees  Calm 

First of all, let me say that I hope all of you had a very Happy Easter or a very Happy Passover with friends and family.  What a special time of year.

It is also a very special time of year on the lake.  The ice is completely gone, even the last remnants around the edges.  The weather has finally begun to warm here in the great white north and the possibility of spring actually being here becomes more and more real.  Easter Sunday was sunny and close to 80 degrees.

Crocuses have been blooming for the last few days and other plants are beginning to make their way up through the soil.  Further to the north, there is still ice on the lakes so the migration of waterfowl is at a standstill until those lakes gradually open.

I just saw a pair of loons swimming out toward the middle of the lake.  I had also seen a pair on Friday night and on Saturday.  So I can confirm the reports of neighbors that there is a PAIR of loons here.  Are they are "our pair".  I don't know for sure yet because I have not personally observed behavior that would tell me they are.  But once again, from what neighbors have said, it looks like they are our loons.

One neighbor saw the pair swimming right where the nest has been anchored each year.....even without the nest being there.  That is a strong indication that they know where the nest is usually anchored. Also, a neighbor observed a fight between three loons a couple days ago.  They said it appeared that a pair was trying to drive off the third loon.  This would indicate that the pair was already trying to defend its territory.

The nesting platform it out for them!  I was able to put it out on Saturday.  Let me tell you, the water is COLD!  But I guess that is to be expected since the ice has only been out for a week.

There are still a few minor things to do to the nest to have it completely ready the way I would like it.  But if they decided to nest right now, they could.  Everything is there that they need.

It is anchored a couple hundred feet from shore.  There is a bed of cattails and weeds and other materials that have washed up on shore on the platform.  The same materials that they would use if they built the nest anywhere without any help from man.  Now it is up to the loons to come and rearrange the materials however they want.  It is up to them to build a nest that suits them.

We have done about as much as we can do.  The rest is up to the loons.

It is at this stage that I become paranoid.  We have built it.  But will they come?!

There are so many other sites that they could use to build a nest.  But for a number of years they have chosen to build a nest on this platform.

Will they do it again this year?

I become concerned.  I think of so many thousands of you who have faithfully watched the loon cam over the last few years.  And the questions once again race through my mind.  What if we don't have anything to show you this year?  What if they don't use it this year?  What if everyone gets all excited about watching the loons again and they don't build a nest on the platform?   Or if they go someplace else.  What if we get everyone's hopes up and there is nothing to see?

There is one "cattail bog" which has become stuck to the bottom some distance away.  What if they decide to use that instead?  I think it is the same cattail bog that some of you observed live last summer as it went floating by the nest.  I remember a couple of you wrote and thought that *I* was doing something.  You were wondering why I pushed that so close by the nest".  I had nothing to do with it.  The bog had broken lose and was floating and was being pushed by the wind across the lake.

So these are the things we cannot control.

Now the loons are in charge.  Now they will decide what they want to do.  Now they will decide when and where to build their nest.  Or IF they will build a nest.

We simply become watchers.  Watchers of one small part of the great drama of life.  But a small part which becomes so big.  Big with concern.  About will they nest?  Will they lay eggs?  Will the eggs hatch?  And most of all, if they do, will those cute little chicks survive all the dangers that await them.

So once again today.  Get ready to pull up a chair.  Get your biggest cup of coffee.  Or cocoa.  And prepare to be part of the biggest show on earth.  That of new life!  We hope to have the camera online for you very soon so that you can watch all of it from the comfort of your armchair.  Tell your friends and neighbors and teachers to join you!

There is no script.  There is no guarantee.  This is real.

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