Sunday, May 30, 2010 6:56am


60 degrees   High Clouds   Wind  South 2mph


High hazy clouds turn the sky to a grayish blue.

They are the forerunners of a weather front that is along the Dakota/Minnesota border that promises to bring rain this afternoon.  One forecast says 'slight' chance of precipitation and another says 'scattered' showers and thunderstorms and yet a thirds says '50%' chance of rain and thunderstorms.

So take your pick!

We need the rain so bad!  You can hear it every time the loon moves or get on and off the nest.  Everything on the nest is so dry it is crisp.  It is amazing the plants have survived at all or that the iris are actually able to bloom.

But the loons keep the eggs in the perfect environment.  A little water brought to the eggs on feathers is just enough to moisten them without cooling them too much.

The loon has just returned from a shift change and is now once again settled on the eggs.

Today should be a little cooler than the last couple days and make it a little easier for the loons.

Highs today are forecast for the mid to upper 70s.  And as I said, that chance of rain or thundershowers this afternoon.

As you saw yesterday, there was a lot of activity on the lake.  And the same is in store for today on this Memorial Day weekend .... unless it rains.  Minnesotans love their time at the lake!

It is something that loons put up with everywhere they are.  Except in the deepest of wilderness areas.

But even though they are sensitive to human presence or disturbance, they are remarkably adaptable.  This nest is a perfect example of that.  As long as humans do not approach too close to the nest, the loons go about the business of laying eggs and hatching chicks and raising the next generation of loons.

This is probably as good a time as any to say THANK YOU to everyone who makes this LoonCam possible  It would not be possible without the understanding and support of family and friends!

Later today we will have many family members gather for a Memorial Day picnic.  And as hard as it may be for them, the kids know that as long as the loons are there they cannot enjoy a day of swimming.  Or boating for the adults.  Or canoeing.  They cannot play in the lake as they usually do.  So for those of you who want to do a nest like this, consider what is involved.  You will give up the use of your lakeshore while the loons are on the nest.

And without understanding and supportive neighbors on either side who are also willing to limit their activities for a month or more in the spring, the loons would not nest successfully.  And so to all of them, on your behalf, I once again say THANK YOU!

And to Ron Schara and the wonderful Minnesota Bound staff, they have done so much to make this possible.

But the thing that makes this all worth doing and watching is what is happening under the loons right now.

New chicks!  Chicks growing and developing inside the eggs.

The normally accepted incubation period of 28 days will be up on Wednesday and Friday of this week for each of the two eggs.  I would expect them to hatch by then.

But it is not out of the realm of possibility that an egg may hatch as early as tonight or tomorrow!!!

It is also not out of the realm of possibility that they may go to 30 or 31 days.  That would mean they would not hatch until next weekend.  If they go much longer than that, there is reason for concern about whether they will hatch or not.

But let me go out on a limb....I would think that the earlier dates are more likely than the latter dates.  I think it is entirely possible that we may see an egg hatch tomorrow...or even tonight!!

But the practice of predicting what the loons will do is very risky.  So feel free to go ahead and make your own predictions.  As with everything else, it is totally out of our hands.  We simply watch.  And marvel.  And enjoy this unique look into the life of these wonderful birds!

So today, may you have a wonderful day and for those of you in the United States,  may you enjoy this Memorial Day weekend.  Now is the time to let your family and friends and kids know about what is happening here on the LoonCam.  The event that we have waited for could happen at any minute!

The sight of two little loon chicks is definitely worth the wait!!