Sunday, April 22, 2012 9:18pm CDT


43 degrees  Partly Cloudy   Absolutely Calm


I have just come inside after sitting watching the loons. For almost an hour, the male has been near the nest.  [But if it makes you feel any better, even if we were able to have a wider camera range you would not have seen him.  He remained just out of camera range.]  I was driven in by the darkness and by the chill in the air.

There have been several more territorial fights today although I have been gone for a good share of the day so I did not see all of what went on.

Shortly after I posted this morning's entry, there was a full-fledged confrontation similar to the two "chase videos" I gave you.

The 'good' part of this is that the loons definitely have taken ownership of the nest and are trying to defend it.

The 'bad' part is that they use up a lot of energy that they need to lay eggs, hatch and raise their chicks.  And there is always the possibility that they may be driven off the nest and a new pair of loons take over.  I think this actually happened in 2010.

Tonight as I was watching the one loon float peacefully near the nest, suddenly he was on high alert.

I hadn't seen or heard anything but obviously he had.

Just like that another loon surfaced right next to him.

Immediately both loons went into full penguin dance postures.  Their bright white breasts only inches from each other.  What a spectacular sight.  Then one of the loons started rowing across the top of the water as fast as he could go, tremoloing as he went.  The other one followed for a very short distance and then settled back down.

But the pursued kept rowing across the surface as fast as he could even though he was no longer being pursued.  Most of the way out to the middle of the lake Where he was joined by what must be his mate.

The other loon returned near the platform where he kept his watch.

But where was his mate?

No where to be seen.  Even though I had seen two pairs swimming on the other side of the lake earlier in the afternoon.

Now I am confused.  Who is who?  Which ones are "our loons"?  Who are the others?  And 'who is on first'?!

It is like watching a boxing match with two identical twins facing each other.

But they at least wear different color and style of trunks.  In this case, the 'boxers' wore identical black and white and spotted and striped 'trunks'.

So as darkness fell, one loon kept a vigil by the nest.

I know better than to wonder too much and get all upset wondering if the mate to this one is ok.  And where is she.  But I know what I should do.  And I know what my heart and emotions tell me to do.  And right now they are winning.  I cannot help but wonder if the mate to this loon by the nest is ok.  And is this even 'our loon'.  Or is this an intruder who has already carried out a palace coup?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and other mystery writers have written no better mysteries.

We will just have to wait and see what the next chapter of this mystery reveals to us!



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Copyright 2012  Larry Backlund