Wednesday, June 1, 2011 8:44pm CDT

65 degrees  Clear  Calm
We are 10 minutes away from the sunset on an absolutely spectacular and perfect day.
Now we enter that long, magical twilight time that so many parts of the country do not know.
But for now, everything is perfect.
A quiet calm evening with the sky reflected in the water.
The colors of the sunset paint the western sky.
We have two beautiful little loon chicks.  Both healthy and active.  And one of them has already spent a night on the water and survived it.
The other little loon is experiencing absolutely everything for the first time!
The first chick has been in the water for the better share of the day and at 8pm tonight, the second chick jumped in the water for the first time and our loon family swam away!
Are they gone for good?
Or will they come back to visit the nest?
They are now swimming out beyond the swimming platform that you have seen drift in and out of the picture off to the left.
The scene could not be more perfect.  A glassy lake.  A clear sky.  A setting sun.  The sky painted in a infinite palette of colors.  And 4 loons swimming.  Two big ones and two little ones.
This is the moment we have waited for ever since they laid the eggs.
No, this is the moment we have waited for since last year.
NO!  This is the moment we have waited for the last two years when we last had chicks that hatched.  And now we have it.  How blessed we are to be able to witness this wonderful miracle of life.
I am still overwhelmed by the realization that 4 short weeks ago tonight, the first egg was laid.  Only an egg.  Not unlike the ones I have in my refrigerator right now!  And now in those 4 short weeks we have wonderful little LIFE that can navigate on its own.
I challenge the smartest person on earth to make life as cute and adorable as a loon chick - or just ANY life - if I give them an egg.  It is a miracle of creation that is beyond comprehension.  We don't even understand what it is, let alone how to DO it.
And so we have two miracles swimming with their parents.
As I have been writing this, one of the loons came up to the nest with a chick on its back.  It got up onto the nest and the chick went flying off into the water.
I could see it swimming alongside the nest cheeping and trying to figure out how to get up.
Then I heard a BIG splash and my heart went to my throat.  The loon got off the nest and swam over to its mate.   My mind immediately went back a few years when we lost one of the chicks within 15 minutes of it getting in the water.  Probably to a large fish.
That is all I could think about.
I went outside to look.  Both loons were swimming away from the  and they were both in a chorus of tremolos.
But I could see only one baby!  ONE!
No!  Did we lose one of the chicks?!
Had a bass or a northern taken one of the chicks?  Both fish love to sit under a dock or anything like the loon nest that gives them shelter.  They wait for something to drop into the water or come swimming by where they can ambush them.  I could not bear the thought that a big fish had taken one of our little loons!
After a couple minutes, the second chick appeared from somewhere.  And my heart relaxed.
They were both there.  And alive.
As I walked toward the lake, I saw a big boat with 5 people fishing very close into shore.  They obviously had come between the nest and the shore.  Was this the big splash I heard?  I don't think that they had done anything and were just either unaware or oblivious to the nest even being there.
So tonight the loons swim not too far from the nest.  And then chicks are riding on their backs.  One on each loon.
Keep a sharp eye out over the next few days to see if they swim by the nest.  Or if we are really lucky that they may revisit the nest for a few minutes.
You may want to watch for something else.  The mayfly hatch seems to have begun in earnest today.  We have had a few over the last couple days.  But there were many more of them today.  So you may see them on the camera over the next couple days.
But gradually they will venture further and further from the nest and the views will become less and less.  We will leave the cam on for a few days for you to hopefully catch a glimpse and then finally we will shut it down for the year.
But I think once again that MN Bound will leave the chat room open for you to get together and visit.
This has truly become a unique family who are so special - YOU are special.  Thank You!
Questions or Comments?