Monday, Memorial Day, May 31, 2010 6:37am CDT


47 degrees  Clear  Calm


The loon on the nest lets out a single wail.

It is as if it is saying to its mate, "OK, I am ready for you to come and take over nesting duties for a while."

The other birds are in full song on a clear, calm and cool Minnesota morning.  Somewhere from across the lake a goose honks as if to say 'I am here, too!'

Little wisps of fog dance about the lake in the morning sun.  The front that came through yesterday has dried out the air and cooled it off.  There is a definite chill in the air on this beautiful Memorial Day morning!

So far there has been no new chick.  Only the promise of one.  Will today be the day that brings the hatching of the first egg?  Anticipation and hope build.

The forecast for today is another stunningly beautiful day with a high in the mid-70s Fahrenheit.

With this being a holiday for most people, the lake will probably be very busy today.  The threat of rain yesterday helped to keep the activity down a little bit.  But today you will probably see activity from a lot of boats and fishermen.  The loons will take it in stride unless people decide to approach too closely to the nest.

There are a couple boats on the lake but more are at the landing putting their boats in right now.

Will this be the day that the first egg hatches?  It very well could be!  So it becomes even more important that a chick struggling to hatch is not left in the full sun for extended periods of time.  It would give us a wonderful view.  But hatching itself is enough of a battle without adding a blazing sun to it.

Once again here is what you can watch for if hatching is imminent.

Everything will look 'normal' on the nest.

The loon sitting there like she has always done.  Looking around for any sign of danger.

But then if you are watching closely, there is that almost imperceptible movement.  You ask yourself if you even saw something.

Just a tiny twitch that is a little bit different.

There it is again.

Then you are sure.  She is moving differently.  It is as if she is getting poked with something from below!

Finally, you may see her slightly lift a wing.  

This whole sequence may last for several hours.  But then....there it is!  There is something moving under her wing!  Our breathing stops and our heart skips a beat.  Could it be?  Am I really seeing this?  Dare I believe that there might be a living breathing chick hiding under her?

And then it happens!  A little black downy head appears from beneath the wing!  It is!!  Or was it just a black feather I saw?  NO!  There is an eye!  And a beak!!  It is a chick!!

So prepare yourself for that magical "AWWWWWW" moment.  If everything has gone alright in the hidden mystery within the eggs, that is a sight that we should see very soon.  There is no way to adequately prepare yourself for the wonder of that moment.  It is one of those memories that is indelibly burned into your permanent memory.  That in some small way changes your life and affects how you view the world.

Could today be the day?