Saturday, May 15, 2010 7:44am CDT

45 degrees   Clear    Calm
[I am sorry that the cam still seems to be down.  The loons are doing fine.]
On a spectacular sunny, calm, spring morning, our loons continue to guard their special charge.
One of the loons sits faithfully on the nest.  The other loon is far out in the lake preening.  It is rolled over on its side as it preens and readjusts its feathers.  Its bright white breast shines in the early morning sunshine.  The lake is like a sheet of glass under a bright blue sky.  The frogs are still in full song  and the birds join in the chorus and sing their morning songs.  It is a chorus that shouts 'this is a wonderful world and a gift that we have been given'!
We are now a full week into the incubation of the eggs.  Three more weeks to go.
But the loons are in it for the full, long slog.  Hour after hour.  Day after day.  Week after week they sit.  Careful to keep the eggs warm.  And always vigilant and watching for any possible danger that may come their way.
What exactly is it that happens in their brain and their body that makes them in a matter of moments go from a freedom loving bird that flies and swims and dives and fishes and just relaxes to a bird that confines itself to a small nest for a full month....fully one-twelfth of its life every year!  We know what the result is by their actions.  But we can only wonder at the miracle that causes it to happen.  What actually goes on in their minds and their bodies that drives this primeval urge is something that we can only marvel at.
One more of the questions of creation of life that we are not fully capable of understanding.  We simply stand back in awe of what we see.  We are not able to explain it.  So we just enjoy this wonderful gift of life that we are given.
And the richness of all of creation all around that has been given to us.  A creation that most of the time we just take for granted until we take a moment to stop and think of it.  And then in that moment we are overwhelmed at how magnificent it is!
This is one of those mornings that fills one with wonder.
To think that under this loon are two eggs in which the miracle of the creation of life is taking place.
In a matter of a few weeks...mere days really...we go from an egg not unlike the egg that we have for breakfast to LIFE!  A shell and a yolk and egg white.  Something so simple and yet so elegant.  And yet so miraculous that is capable of producing life!
Even now there are blood vessels and eyes and bones and beaks forming under our loon.  What a miracle!  And what an easy recipe.  Just add warmth and Someone else adds life!
Even while I am writing this, two little 'dramas' just played out.
I looked up at the television to see the loon on the nest in a 'hangover' position....neck fully extended and head down against the nest.  I take the binoculars to see what is disturbing it.
There is nothing around.  No boats.  No fishermen.  Nothing that I see that should disturb it.
But over the speaker I hear what sounds like geese chicks.  Sure enough!  Around the swimming raft come two little yellow geese chicks.  And they are swimming right toward the loon nest.  But the amazing thing is, I do not see an adult goose in sight.  I have never seen such small chicks swimming by themselves.
They swim up to the nest and one of the chicks tries to get on but is not able to.  So they move on.  They swim in towards the dock and then swim off to the east. 
The loon relaxes and raises its head and looks all around.
Within a few minutes of that happening, the loon again lowers its head.  
When I look this time, there are TWO loons swimming a little ways out from the nest!  The loon on the nest leaves and gets in the water and swims toward the other two loons who are circling each other an diving.  The loon from the nest looks under water when they dive.  And then stretches its neck high as it looks all around.
All three of them swim around each other.
But soon there is the familiar flapping of wings and the slapping of feet on the water as one of the loons takes off and flies away.
The two left swim peacefully together and then one returns to the nest, turns the eggs and settles down for its shift on the nest.  All of this took about ten minutes.
After these 'dramas', the loon is once again quietly sitting on the nest.  But ever vigilant for the next drama.
Today is also the "fishing opener" so there will be increased boat traffic and fishermen on the lake for our loons to watch for.  Always something to keep them ever alert.