Saturday, June 7, 2014 5:15 am CDT

54 degrees F     Downpour     Wind 15 mph NNE

Sunrise   5:25 am CDT     Sunset   8:59 pm CDT

Expected Egg Hatch Sometime NOW - June 11

If there is a new chick under our male loon this morning, he is getting a rocking and rolling welcome into the world!

We are in the midst of a thunderstorm.

Rain is pelting our loon on the nest, there is thunder and lightning is flashing across the sky and waves are bouncing the nest.  Some of the waves even splash up on the nest and the loon.

But our loon takes it all in stride.

He sits calmly looking around as if to say, "This?  This is nothing.  I have seen much worse than this!"

Safely under him two eggs are being kept warm and dry.

Or is it still two eggs?!

Could there already be a chick under there?

We are now in the middle of the time when the eggs could and should be hatching.  Between now and next Wednesday, June 11.

Will they hatch?  

Will we see two new loon chicks?

Once again we are reminded how limited our powers are.  We can only wish.  We can only hope.  We can only want.

But nothing we do will change what will happen.  That is totally out of our hands.  It is in Higher Hands.  We can only watch.  We can only be observers of what IS happening.

Once again we are reminded of how limited and powerless we are when it comes to the great questions and mysteries of life.

We simply having to admit that we are reduced to being observers.

We cannot create life.  

We can only stand back in amazement of it.

Not only can't we create life, we can't even see under the loon to see if there is new life!

It is so easy to see things that we want to see.  A couple times during the night I have (wished) that I was seeing the loon "flinch" once in a while.  Like something was happening underneath him.

In fact right now, I am telling myself that he is holding his left wing out from his body more than usual.

Are either one of them true?

I really cannot say for sure.

And with this rain and wind, he is very carefully keeping everything under him covered.

If you have not already done so, now is the time to email or twitter your friends and tell them they still have time to watch the miracles unfold on the LoonCam!  We are down to the 'few days' and then it will be over for another year!

Just when we think we have seen everything, we see something more or something new.

What a difference a day can bring!

Yesterday morning the lake was like a sheet of glass reflecting the first morning rays of the sun as a light layer of fog drifted across the calm lake.

This morning the loons are riding out a "Nor'easter"!

The male continues to do the majority of the nest duty including the long overnight hours.

But the female has also been spending more time on the nest including well over 3 hours last night.  And she is also getting braver and not reacting to everything quite as much nor leaving the nest over every little disturbance.

Last night the male gave a number of hoots as he got on the nest and then as he turned the eggs.

Hoots are the soft little sounds that loons make when they are talking to each other when they are close by.  Most people have never even heard the hoot.  But here on the LoonCam you can hear it.

He gave more hoots than usual last night.

Does he hear something?  Does he feel something?  Is he sensing something?  Is he talking to the chicks?

The questions come in a flood,   The answers - not so much.

Last night we passed 25 1/2 days for the first egg,  which is the shortest time we have seen for an egg to hatch in previous years.  So there is absolutely no concern if the eggs have not hatched yet.  This is still very early in the possible hatching window.  And there is no reason for concern unless we go beyond next Wednesday with no hatching.

So for now we are on "baby watch".

Watch for twitches or flinches from the loon on the nest which might be indicators that something is happening under him.  That a chick is working mightily to break itself free from the egg shell that is keeping him from his appearance to the world.

That will be one of your first indicators that the hatch may be underway.

It often can take up to 24 hours for a chick to fully break free from the egg.

And then the long awaited event is when we get the first glimpse of a little head peeking out from under a wing.

Then all the long hours will have been worthwhile.

Since things happen so rapidly at this stage, let me also take this time to say THANK YOU to all of you who have been and are a part of this unique experience.  The only place in the world where you can have a close up view of Common Loons nesting in real time.

You have built such a loving and caring family.  A Loon Family.  You have established friendships over thousands of miles and around the world.  All while watching a couple of loons as they try to bring the next generation of loonsee into the world.

Your words of thanks and your kindness are so very much appreciated.

So pour yourself a BIG cup of coffee or tea or hot chocolate or whatever you  prefer, settle in and watch this miracle unfold before your eyes.

There are no printed programs for this "play".  It is all ad lib.  You take it and enjoy it as it comes!

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

Copyright 2014     Larry R Backlund