Friday, May 22, 2015 8:15 pm CDT

66 degrees F     Clear     Wind Calm

Sunrise   5:36 am CDT    Sunset   8:44 pm CDT


Today has been a beautiful, quiet, sunshine-filled day here in Minnesota at "Loon Lake".

In fact maybe a little too nice.

Our loons can definitely cope with cool to even cold weather better than they can with hot weather.

When they are in the water, the water keeps them cool.

But when they have to sit up on the nest, the sun beating down on their dark plumage tends to warm them up.

That is why you see them often sit on the nest with their beaks open.  They are doing exactly what dogs do.  They are panting to help remove excess heat from their bodies.  Or they may go into the water more often  to help cool off.

This is Memorial Day weekend here in the US.  A day to remember all those who have lost their lives in service to their country.  Or just a general time to remember those who are no longer with us.

It is the first of the big weekend holidays of the summer.

That means that there will be a lot of people on lakes all across the state.

That also means possibly increased  disturbances for our loons.  From people who just want to get a closer look at our beloved loons.  Or people getting too close just because they are not paying attention.

It is a good time to remind your friends and family to be on the lookout for loons when they are out on the lakes.  And to stay well away from the nests.  Too many disturbances could cause loons to abandon their nests.

One time probably won't affect them  Nor will two times.  And so most people think they have not had an effect on the loons because they disturbed them for only a couple minutes.

But when you add this boat to that canoe to that fisherman to that waterskiier, each one takes an increasing toll.

So if you stay well back from the nest, you will not disturb them   Bring a pair of binoculars with you and you can observe them without disturbing them.

Or better yet, get the BEST view right here on the LoonCam!

We are expected to get rain on both Sunday and Monday so that will cut down on the boat traffic on the lake.  And cause less stress on our loons.

One of the things that I neglected to mention yesterday when I was talking about the setup of the nesting platform was the "chick ramp".  It is a small floating extension that is located right below the camera.  While chicks normally do not return to the nest after they have left, sometimes the first chick may try to get back up on the nest before the second chick hatches.

This small floating extension is intended to make it easier for him to get back up on the nest.

Yesterday while I was mowing the lawn, I had a very small mayfly land on my arm.  So the mayfly hatch has apparently just started.  I have not seen many of them around yet.  But when the hatch is in full swing, there can be a lot of them.

Here at Loon Lake we do not have excessively large hatches of mayflies.  There are some places that have such large hatches that they have to actually scoop up large piles of mayflies.  And sometimes highways can actually become slippery and hazardous due to large numbers of mayflies on the highway.

But we normally do not have those kinds of problems with mayflies here.

Most of the insects that I am seeing on the LoonCam today are not mayflies.

I do not know my insects well enough to tell you for sure what they are.  But I think they may be a hatch of caddisflies.  Someone here will probably know their insects much better than I do and can identify them.

Neither mayflies nor caddisflies are of any concern to the loons.

It is the blackflies that bother loons more than any other insects.  So far I have not seen large numbers of blackflies on the loons this year.  Which is a good thing.

We are now less than two weeks away from the probable hatching of our expected chicks.

Enjoy the wait.  And the stress.  And the wonderful expectation of watching this true miracle of nature!


Copyright   2015    Larry R Backlund