Saturday, May 28, 2011 12:25pm CDT

68 degrees  Sunny  Wind  2mph S
What a gorgeous spring day.
Sunshine.  A light breeze.  Loons on a nest.
This makes the long, dark, cold, snowy days of winter all worth it.
Right now the loon is in somewhat of a cautious hangover position.  Head lowered but not all the way down.
She has been this way for sometime.  
The reason is that there is a pontoon boat with a family with several kids fishing not too far away.   They are well away from the nest so they are doing nothing wrong.  I am not even sure they are aware of the nest.
But I think it is the large size of the pontoon plus young high-pitched excited voices that makes the loon wary.  But she is ok and shows no signs of leaving the nest.
On a beautiful holiday weekend day like this, there are many more boats out on the lake than there have been during the cold, windy days.
Earlier this morning there was a big fishing boat straight out from the nest.  Once again, well away from the nest.  But they seemed to be aware of the nest and stayed well away from it.  There was one man and two women in the boat.  What was interesting was how the loon mate appeared from somewhere out on the lake and positioned himself exactly half way between the boat and the nest.
He was not upset.  He just sat there and preened.  And watched the boat.  As the boat drifted to the side, he also drifted with it.  Always keeping himself between the boat and the nest.  The loon on the nest never once lowered her head.
When the boat was far enough away, the loon silently swam back out into the lake.
Yesterday, there was a boat with several fishermen in it that was drifting and fishing.  I watched as they came closer and closer to the swimming raft that is out there to try to keep fisherment away.  They cast their lures near the raft to try to coax any fish that were hiding under it.
I was worried that they would come close to the nest thinking they could cast there also. But I don't think they even knew the nest was there.  Until they got to a certain point where the nest appeared from behind the raft which had been blocking its view.
The loon was in full hangover position.
When the woman spotted the loon, she pointed at it and said something.
Immediately the man started the electric motor and quietly moved out farther away from the nest where they resumed their fishing.
This is what I have obseved in the overwhelming number of instances.  When someone sees the nest and reallizes what it is, they try to move away from it quietly.  It is gratifying to realize that more and more people are becoming aware of loons and joining in the effort to protect them.
This Memorial Day weekend, there will be more and more activity on the lake.  We pay tribute to all of you who have done so much to protect the freedoms that all of us have and enjoy.  And we especially honor the brave heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for us.
May you enjoy this weekend with your family and loved ones no matter where you are.  Hold them close and tell them that you love them.  If you can watch loons in person, you are blessed.  If the only place you can watch them is here on the LoonCam, you are blessed as well.
The weather is forecast to be generally good with scattered rain showers and some thunderstorms.  Memorial Day itself on Monday is the day that is forecast for the greatest chance of rain and thunderstorms.
While Wednesday is the 'official' day that the first egg should hatch, I would guess that it might be on Tuesday or even Monday.  But who knows what wonder is going on inside the egg and when the chick will hopefully appear.
So close and yet so frustratingly far away.
But it is definitely an event that you do not want to miss!
Questions or Comments?