Tuesday June 15, 2010 1:04pm CDT


Now there is just an empty platform.

And an empty place in our hearts.  To not see the beautiful loon sitting there just leaves an emptiness.  A hole.

I just came up from the lake.  I went down to look for the loons with the binoculars.

I don't see them anywhere on the lake.  Now that does not mean they are not here.  I just don't see them right now.  

There are times when even when I know where they are that I have to look and look and look.  And then all of a sudden they surface.  It is hard sometimes to see them.  Right now I do not see either of them.  Nor do I see any of the other loons that have been around.

The loons today acted exactly as I expected them to act.  But I could not be certain they would until it actually happened.  But now the bond with the nest has been broken and they have moved on with their lives.

But it was not without uncertainty and trepidation on my part that this whole thing took place.

When I went down to take the egg last night, I must say that I was more than pleased that there was no calling and no splashing or penguin dancing and no signs of distress.

But then when all of the calling started, my heart was in my throat!

"Oh please, Lord!  NO!!!! We don't need this!!  Please!"

And as the calls grew in intensity, if my heart could have jumped out of my throat it would have!

But then it soon became readily apparent that all the calling was due to another pair of loons and not due to the egg being removed.  Only then did my heart return to where it should be.  Only then did my heart rate go down.  Only then did my blood pressure return to normal.

All in all, I do not think that the taking of the egg could have gone more perfectly with the minimum of stress to our loons.

About 6:30 this morning, after the loon on the nest had left the nest, there were 'flying tremolos' from what sounded like two loons.

I went to look to see if I could see them.  The beautiful sound of the flying tremolos continued.  Getting closer and closer.  Then I saw one of the loons flying from left to right about mid-height up in the sky.  I did not see the second one but both of them continued to call.

It was almost as if they were taking their celebratory flight of freedom!

I did not see them land but some time later I saw both of them out on the lake.  And then they checked out the nest again a couple times...one time for about thirty minutes!

But now they are somewhere.  Somewhere other than on the nest.  But somewhere doing 'their loon thing' and getting on with their lives.

Let me take this opportunity before everyone scatters too far and wide to once again say THANK YOU!!

You cannot believe how much your kind words and your understanding and support has meant to me.  Words are inadequate to fully express my appreciation for you!

And thank you for being a part of this wonderful 'family' that has developed around this LoonCam!  Who could have ever predicted at the beginning of the season how close everyone would become.

I had to laugh at one point when there was some discussion in the chat room about if there was or should be a moderator and whether any subtle criticisms were warranted or not.  I laughed because it reminded me of the loon settling on the egg!  Everyone discussed the matters at hand.  It was like the little 'tushy wiggle' that the loons did to get comfortable sitting on those big eggs.  And then when they were comfortable, they settled down and relaxed.  And I visualized everyone doing just that.  Everyone wiggling their rear end a little until we all found our area of comfort with our neighbor next to us.  A wiggle here.   A wiggle there.   And then we all settled down and enjoyed the experience.

Now we wait to catch a glimpse of our dear loons.  Those precious fleeting glances over the next few days.

We will leave the cam running for the next few days so that you can catch those fleeting glances.  And I will periodically post an update to the blog to let you know what I am observing of the loons on the lake.  With no chicks this year, there will be less to report but I will try to keep you up to date.

And I will let you know anything I find out from our testing of the eggs.

I would like to say thank you as well to Ron Schara and the whole Minnesota Bound crew, Broadband USA and Wild Earth!

I had been talking with Peter from Wild Earth and unbeknownst to you, he was awake in South Africa at the time that I took the egg...just to make sure that the camera did NOT go down at the most inopportune time!  Thank you, Peter!

And  last night I got a phone call from Tony from Broadband about an hour before I was going to take the egg.  He was  wondering if I wanted to 'kill the feed' before I took the egg so that I was 'protected'!  Tony, thanks for your concern for me!  But I told him "NO!!  We HAVE  to make sure the feed remains LIVE and solid!  If it goes down now you will hear a howl from around the world and you won't need a loudspeaker to hear it!!!"  lol

But once again, in the strongest possible terms I would like to say THANK YOU for all your wonderful expressions of love and appreciation!  You are AMAZING!

Almost as amazing as our AMAZING LOONS!