55 degrees F Sunny Wind NE 7 mph
Sunrise 6:14 am CDT Sunset 8:09 pm CDT
A beautiful Minnesota spring day.
Sunshine. Blue sky. Puffy white clouds. A slight breeze. Daffodils blooming. Apricots and cherries in bloom. Crocuses done blooming. Forsythia is fading. Tulips are ready to start blooming. As are apples and pears.
Trees are beginning to turn green and leaf out.
What a wonderful time of year. New life all around.
But one thing could make it even better - LOONS!
They are on the lake. They have visited the nest.
Now we just need them to take ownership of the nest and lay eggs.
Then all will be right with the world once again.
At this point I am not highly concerned that they have not begun nesting yet. It is still early in the season.
However, as I have told you in the past I become very paranoid and concerned at this time of year every year. And most of that is concern that we get YOUR hopes up, we "promise" you loons. What if the loons don't cooperate?! ;-)
It is VERY encouraging that they have already checked out the nest. And have been up ON the nest at least once.
They have told us that they know it is there and that they are interested in it.
Will they be "interested" enough to use it? There is no way of knowing. And even if we did know, we have absolutely no control over that.
So we wait.
Many of you watched a couple days ago as I went out to the nest to water the plants. We had not had any rain for well over 2 weeks. So I figured that the plants on the nest must be bone dry.
I was surprised when I got out there that they were relatively moist. I think the action of the wind and waves must have been enough to splash water up onto the nest and water the plants 'naturally' even without any rain.
But just to be safe, I still watered the plants and the entire nest.
I also replaced a little of the nesting material that had washed away, but overall the nest seemed to be in very good condition. In light of the reports that I got that there had been 50 mph winds while I was in China, I think it held together quite well.
Maybe this afternoon I will go back out there if the loons are not in sight and plant a couple more plants. I had wanted to put them out when I put the nest out but the ones that I had dies over the winter and no garden stores had any available that early yet.
I just realized I should maybe have gotten a purple plant in honor of Prince! Or the Vikings.
It has been encouraging to hear calls from loons on the lake, especially at night. So they are still here. And there is still hope that they will nest.
But as I have said before, because of the death of the male last summer this year will be very interesting and educational. Will the female come back with a new mate? Will a new pair use the nest? Will the nest go unused this year?
All of those things are possible.
However, in over a decade of doing this there is only one year that the loons have not used the nest. That was just a couple years ago when for some unexplained reason we had a change of mates.
Every other year the loons have used the nest ever since I built it and first put it out.
That alone is phenomenal. From figures I saw a few years ago, only 60% of artificial nesting platforms ever get used. So to have the kind of success that we have had with this nest is very unusual and very gratifying.
I will not be very concerned that they have not nested until we get into the first week of May at least. Even the first week of May will be fairly normal for nesting on this nest.
So settle back and watch. Let us all learn together. Try to keep your concern and blood pressure down and I will try to do the same. Let us all be amazed together.
Copyright 2016 Larry R Backlund