35 degrees F Clear Wind 3 mph NW
Sunrise 5:39 am CDT Sunset 8:41 pm CDT
Pink paints the eastern sky with the promise of sunrise in a little more that half an hour.
The birds are just starting their morning songs.
Already the loon on the nest is awake, alert and looking around.
What will today bring?
The temperature is very cold but not unheard of for this time of year. Yesterday set a new "record low high" temperature for a town not too far away from "Loon Lake".
Right now it is only 35 degrees here for our loons. It is still possible that it might drop to freezing in the next couple hours although I doubt it will. Definitely there will have been frost in some parts of the state and they were predicting a hard freeze in Western Minnesota and the Dakotas.
Ahhhh the wonders of living in the Theater of Seasons.
At 2:31 am this morning we passed the two week mark since the first egg was laid. It is hard to believe it has already been that long.
At the two week mark in the development of the chicks inside the egg, feathers have started to develop, the mouth has begun to open and the claws on the chick's feet have begun to develop.
It is hard to even comprehend the wonders that are taking place inside that egg.
Wonders too marvelous to behold.
It is so easy to take it all for granted.
To just say 'that is the way it is'.
But when you stop to think about what is really happening, it is more than the mind can take in. How does the egg white and egg yolk of our breakfast eggs become heart and blood vessels and eyes and feathers?
Who does it? How do They do it? Who came up with the plan? And Who carries it out?
I know if someone told me "Go build a loon", I wouldn't have the slightest clue of where to begin. Where to get the parts. How to go about it. How to make the pieces fit. Not only how to make them fit, how to MAKE the pieces themselves before trying to fit them!
But this miracle takes place around us all the time. And because it is so common, we do not stop to think how much of a miracle it actually is.
But that is what is going on under the loon right now.
In order for it to happen, it must be exactly the right temperature and humidity. A few degrees too cold and the chick will not survive. A few degrees too hot , and the chick will not survive. But when it is just right, lifelessness becomes LIFE.
That is the pressure that our loon parents are under today.
To maintain just those right conditions for our chicks to continue their development.
Anything that would draw them off the nest for any length of time in the cold during this critical time, could prove fatal to the chicks.
Whether it be an eagle that draws them off. Or a person. Or an animal. Or an intruder loon. Or a fisherman getting too close to the nest. Or a thousand and one other things that could draw them off the nest and away from the eggs.
We worry whenever they are off the nest.
But they feel something even more profound. What is it? What compels them to sit on the nest hour after hour? Day after day. In cold. In heat. In rain. In wind.
What compels them to defend the nest?
Do they actually know that in a couple more weeks they will have little chicks?
Once again we are faced with our own inadequacies and our lack of ability to understand something so deep and so profound.
And so we can only sit back and say THANK YOU!
And enjoy the wonder of LIFE itself!
Copyright 2015 Larry R Backlund