Saturday, May 8, 2010 5:48am CDT


32 degrees  Cloudy   Wind NW13mph


The yodel of a male loon pierces the cold morning air and echoes around the lake.

Wisps of fog race across the surface of the water, driven by the wind under a leaden gray sky.  The cold bites through.

This certainly can't be mid-May!  Only days ago it was in the mid-80s.  Now it feels like February again.

Then another yodel from the male who is sitting some distance away from the nest overpowers the sound of the wind.  There is no other loon apparent that he seems to be challenging.  There is no other predator that is obvious.  There is no other eagle flying overhead.

It is as if he is shouting into the  sharp cold wind that 'it will take more than this to defeat us'!

And then from the nest the female answers with an undulating wail!  She agrees, too.  She is not defeated.  It will take more than a little cold and snow and rain and wind to make her give up on her mission.  She is firmly ensconced on her eggs.

Last night in the snow she laid the second egg.

They now have the two that they will incubate for the next four weeks.  A third egg is unlikely.  And probably unnecessary.

All night long she sat protecting those two precious eggs.  Keeping them warm.  Sheltered from the rain and snow and wind and cold.

She rises up on her legs and looks down at the two large brown mottled eggs and turns them with her beak.  She settles back down on them taking care to get them just right.  Rocking back and forth until she is sure that she has them covered completely.

Then she lowers her wings around the sides of them and locks the tips of her wings under her tail.  No north wind is going to sneak through and get to her eggs.  They are as snug and warm as they would be on a day with sunshine and 75 degrees!