Friday, June 18, 2010 5:12am CDT

61 degrees   Scattered Clouds  Wind S 2mph
This morning the pink in the northeastern sky announces the impending sunrise.
The lake is calm.  The birds are singing.  Much like yesterday morning.
But so much has happened in between!
Last night tornadoes broke out across the state of Minnesota.  Our first of the year and the 5th latest date to have the first tornado of the year.  There were numerous tornadoes throughout the state from north to south, with at least two dead and many houses destroyed.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.
But for our loons here, there was no severe weather.  One cell which had produced tornadoes came uncomfortably close as it passed by, we only got a nice rain out of it.  But it illustrates what our loons and others may face on a moment's notice.  I am sure there are nesting loons someplace that did not fare as well.
And so today promises to be a quiet and peaceful day for our loons.  Highs in the mid-80s and no severe weather.
As you have seen, the loons have not been in sight of the camera much at all although they have a few times gone swimming by the nest but have not stopped.  "Flying tremolos" this morning indicate that at least one loon is flying in the area.  The plan right now is to leave the camera running this weekend so that you can maybe get a glimpse of them and then we will shut it down for the year.
Yesterday, I received a report about the eggs from the DNR. 
"Hi, Larry,
I just got back from the Wildlife Rehab Center.  The x-rays showed that the egg that floated out to the lake was infertile.  The second egg had an air sac at the large end and a small dark "object" just under the air sac that could have been a partially decomposed embryo."
Obviously if there is a 'partially decomposing embryo' inside, it had not developed far enough to even be defined.  So it appears that it was the right decision to remove the eggs from the nest and let the loons get on with their lives.  Neither egg would have ever hatched.  And how long they would have futilely sat on the nest is anybody's guess.  
We may still do some more with the eggs and I will give you any further updates.
A couple people asked "Why not just break them and look inside?"  There are still other tests that may be done.  But in addition to that, just being able to save the shells can provide a wonderful teaching aid for school kids.  Or will add to the specimen reference 'library' of some educational institution.  The idea is to do the least damage while extracting the maximum amount of information.
I had meant to give you before some of the measurements that I took on the second egg.
Length   3 1/2 inches    (89.5mm)
Diameter   2 1/4 inches    (57mm)
Weight    Approximately 140 grams   (4.9 ounces)
Volume    Approximately 150 cc
This egg is just slightly larger than the egg that was bumped into the lake by the loon.  This leads me to believe that this was the first egg that was laid this year.  Research has shown that the first egg laid is usually a little bit larger than the second egg.
We are looking at the possibility of some other research.  I can't say too much more right now but it requires a pair of loons that had chicks that hatched this year.  So our loons are not candidates anymore.  If you know of a lake that had a hatch of chicks this year, would you let me know either here or at  If they are closer to the Twin Cities metro area, that would be an advantage.
I may be able to give you some more information in the next few days.  I know it is something that you will be very interested in, if they are able to pull it off.
So today brings a number of good things.
Confirmation that it was the right thing to remove the remaining egg from the nest.  And let our loons get on with their lives.  The promise of a beautiful day for our loons.
And the best thing of all.....our loons themselves!
Calling.  Swimming.  And just knowing that they are there!
Knowing that at least in this little corner of the world, the symbol and sound of the northern woods is doing well.