Wednesday, June 15, 2011 6:27am CDT


57 degrees  Rain  Wind 3mph  E


Maybe the first question to answer this morning is not about the loons, but about the 'loon' who wanted to go skydiving!

Unfortunately, we could not go.  (Or was it 'fortunately' we could not go!)

There were thunderstorms moving through the area yesterday afternoon and so it was canceled.  We are now trying to reschedule it sometime in the next couple weeks.

So, I am safe!

Since I had some time that I had not planned for, I was able to get out on the pontoon yesterday afternoon for the first time this year.

I found 'our' loons about a quarter of the way around the lake peacefully swimming and feeding.  The adults were busily diving and catching minnows that the chicks eagerly gobbled down as soon as they were offered.  There was no lack of an appetite.

No wonder they grow so fast.

And for the first time I was able to confirm with my own eyes the reliable reports given me by others, that there is indeed another pair of loons with two chicks on the other side of the lake!

As far as I know, this is the first time in modern history that there have been confirmed reports of two successfully nesting pairs on this lake.

It was gratifying to see.

From their size, I would guess that the two chicks on the other side of the lake are maybe a couple days younger than 'our' loons.  It is hard to guess exactly without seeing them up very close, but they definitely looked a little smaller and I would guess that they are a couple days younger.

Both pairs of chicks seem to be doing very well and are very active.

This morning marks the two-week birthday of 'our' second chick!

While there is nothing 'magical' about the two-week mark, chicks successfully surviving the first two weeks of their life seem to have dramatically better chances of surviving to adulthood and fledging.  So that is very good news for our chicks this morning.

They still could be injured by snapping turtles.  Or they still could easily be taken by a bald eagle.  But their chances of making it to adulthood go up dramatically.

I cannot see them anywhere from the view from the house.  They are nowhere near the nest.  But I am sure they are out there in the rain somewhere.

This morning is a gray, cloudy, rainy morning.

The rain is just a slow, steady, 'soaking' rain right now.

The forecast is for 70 to 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms throughout the day today.  So it is going to be a wet day.  But I do not think that at this point they are predicting anything severe developing out of these thunderstorms.

But that is good.  We have needed the rain.

It is a good morning to either go back to bed or to snuggle up with a good book - obviously a book about loons!

It is the type of morning when you are canoeing in the Boundary Waters that you sit under the tarp around the campfire, drinking a cup of hot chocolate and wondering if you should pack up and continue on your journey in the rain.  Or just stay put in this camp space for today and wait out the rain.  And try to stay dry.

While it is wet and rainy for us, for the loons it is 'just another day'.  

The rain affects them very little.


Questions or Comments?