Tuesday, May 29, 2012 5:29am CDT


53 degrees    Clear     Wind  2mph N

Sunrise  5:29am     Sunset  8:51pm


As the first rays of the sun prepare to break above the trees on the edge of the lake, our loon sits calmly on the nest.  Carefully protecting its eggs.

The mate floats nearby, just beyond the buoys.

It is a very good morning in loonville.

The loons have survived the Memorial Day activity on the lake yesterday.  And they survived the intrusion of somebody messing around with the anchor rope on their nest!  But the nest this morning rides much easier on the small ripples on the lake.  It is not being held partially underwater by an anchor rope that had become too short because of the amazing rise in the level of the lake.

For the last few days our loons seem to have settled into a more familiar and relaxed routine contrary to some of the conflict that we have seen this year.

Yesterday there was a lot of boat traffic that went by the nest over and over.

Many of them were obviously aware of the nest and interested in it but there were none of them that did anything out of the ordinary or approached too closely.  All of them were very respectful.  Others were only interested in their boating or water skiing or fishing and hardly paid any attention to the loons or the nest.

The ones that the loon reacted to the most by going into its defensive hangover were the canoes and kayaks especially and one or two small slow moving rowboats.  When one of those passed, the loon would go into deep hangover.  The mate stayed very close to the nest for most of the day.  It would often place itself between the boat and the nest and quietly followed until the boat was away from the nest.

I saw no confrontations or territorial battles yesterday.  It has been a calm couple days.

Let us hope for the same thing for our loons over the next few days. 

We are on the final countdown to the hatching of the eggs.

I would not expect anything to happen before this Saturday.  But I think sometime between Saturday through Monday are very real possibilities for the first egg to hatch.  So now the excitement begins.

Along with you, I am missing the LoonCam being down.  It is interesting how quickly we become accustomed to being able to watch at any time of the night or day.  And to see close up what the loons are doing.  I find it difficult to going back to my limited view through binoculars.  Suddenly I am back to what it was like a number of years ago when the view and the understanding was limited to what you could see through the binoculars.

I know it is even more the case for you with no view of the nest.

It has also been a reminder how wonderful all of you are.  And it has been a reminder of how valuable all your observations are.  To have eyes on the nest 24 hours a day is very valuable to everyone and adds so much to our knowledge of what has happened during times when we cannot be watching.  So thank you to each one of you again for all you do.

I talked to the good folks at Broadband yesterday morning and I know that they are working on getting the cam up and running again.  But I am sure they were limited by the holiday weekend.  I hope to be talking to them again this morning to find out exactly where the problem is and get it fixed.  Right now it sounds like one of the servers was taken out by the storms on Saturday night.

There are so many things that have to work perfectly in order to bring you the view from the LoonCam.  If there is a glitch in only one of them, there is no picture and no sound.

So hang in there.  Hopefully they will be back up and running soon and once again you will be able to see our beautiful loons on this beautiful spring morning.

I have already described to you what happened yesterday morning when I had to go out to the nest to lengthen the anchor rope and what the loon's reaction was.  I left off that report with the loons still being off the nest after I had replaced the rope.

Let me fill you in on what happened after.

As I quickly made my way to shore with the amazing sight of two loons darting back and forth underwater within inches of my legs, I have to admit that it was not an easy time.  First of all, you all know how I hate to go anywhere near the nest while the loons are on it, let alone to do anything to the nesting platform.  And the fact that even though it took only a few minutes, it was longer than what I wanted because the knot in the rope had been pulled so very tight by the tension on the rope.

Secondly, there was no guarantee that things would not become more serious than two loons just swimming close to my legs like torpedos rapidly going back and forth.  There was a combination of awe and concern.  And a sense of relief when I reached the shore with no damage having been done.

But I was not prepared for what happened next.

I quickly went up to the house to get out of sight completely and let the loons relax.

As I looked back down to the lake, one of the loons swam out beyond the buoys.  The other loon swam completely around the nest and at one point looked like it was going to get right back up on the nest.  I hoped beyond hope that it would.

But it didn't.

After it had made its inspection swim around the nest, it swam out to its mate just beyond the buoys.  They quietly and calmly swam together for a couple minutes.

But then they swam away!

Not only did they swim away, they swam toward an area of the lake that they seldom swam toward.

The image in my mind was hard to take.  It was as if both loons had turned their back on the nest and were now leaving it!  My heart sank.  Had the stress of replacing the rope been too much.  Would they actually abandon the nest?  My hope was that they would not.  But the view of them swimming side by side as they swam to a whole different section of the lake was a difficult image.  There was no guarantee that they would come back.  It seemed so final.

But fortunately in spite of my worries, one of the loons did come back and was on the nest within about half an hour.

I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief as it awkwardly made its way up onto the nest and settled down on the eggs.  I could not see the mate.  But at that point I didn't really care all that much.  There was a loon on the nest and the eggs were once again being protected and kept warm.

The rest of the day went better than what I could have even hoped for on the busy Memorial Day on the lake.

And this morning, the loon continues to faithfully sit on the nest and nurture those eggs.

A number of people commented on how brave I was to go out to the nest to add more rope to the anchor rope.  As I thought about it I am not sure it was as much bravery as stupidity.  But what had to be done, had to be done.

The other good news this morning is for the other pair of loons that is apparently nesting on the lake.

I had been very concerned about them after reports from a couple neighbors who had seen them swimming out in the lake and therefore had thought that they had lost their nest to the rising waters.  From those reports, I had been very concerned about the same thing.  It was fully reasonable that the nest had been inundated by the dramatic rise in the lake level.

But then yesterday I got reports from a couple other neighbors on that part of the lake that they could see two chicks swimming with that pair of loons!

Somehow the nest had survived the rising water!  And not only survived but that two little loons chicks had hatched on that nest.  So two eggs down and two more eggs to hatch.

With all the excitement and activity of yesterday, I did not even take time to once again thank all of our servicemen and women for their sacrifice for all of us.  Thank you is never enough but know that all of us are forever indebted to your for your selfless sacrifice and service.  Thank any serviceman or woman you know, past or present, for their service to all of us.

The forecast for the next few days is for a return to more normal weather.  While there is the possibility of some rain later this week, hopefully it is only minor precipitation and not the 'monsoon' storms that we have been seeing.  We certainly do not need more rain for a while.

So wherever you are and whatever you are doing today, I hope that you will take time to see all the beauty of creation all around you at this special time of the year.


Comments or Questions?   LoonCam(at)yahoo(dot)com

Copyright  2012     Larry Backlund