Thursday, July 7, 2016 9:35 pm CDT

71 degrees F   Clouds and Rain Moving In  Wind S  3 mph

Sunrise   5:34 am CDT     Sunset   9:03 pm CDT


I just came up from an extended swim in the lake at dusk and I have a couple very special things to share with you.

First of all (unrelated to my swim), we have TWO loon chicks on the lake!

You may have read some about it in the comments to the previous post.

Mary on the lake was apparently the first to spot them.  She spotted one on Saturday night.   She said it was riding on the parent's back and she only saw one chick and one adult.

And then she called me on Monday to let me know that she had seen TWO chicks and both the adults.

This is exceedingly good news.  And VERY surprising news.

I have not seen them yet myself but my next door neighbors have confirmed that they saw them and saw both little chicks.

I don't know who these loons are.  But if I had to guess, I would guess that it is the other pair on the lake that I told you about before that had nested but then for some reason they lost their nest.  But that is only a guess until I actually see them and maybe I am able to see the bands.

If I had to guess, from what Mary said I would guess that the first chick hatched sometime on Saturday.  And the second chick hatched either late Saturday or more likely Sunday.

Now they enter their most vulnerable time for the next 2  weeks.

They have trouble diving at this stage so it is very difficult for them to get out of the way of danger.  Whether it be eagles or fish or boats.

The second thing that I wanted to tell you about was what happened while I was swimming just a little bit ago.

It has been a little muggy here tonight,  I had been working on several things and was hot and sweaty.  So I decided to go for a swim to cool off and clean off.

Shortly before dusk I was just sitting quietly in the lake with only my head out of the water.

Then in the shadows I thought I saw something moving near the bulrushes.  As I watched, it became clear that it was a loon.

I remained very quiet and still.  I could not quite believe my eyes as the loon kept swimming straight toward me.  It was very obvious that he saw me.  But he kept coming slowly toward me as I stayed as quiet and still as I could.

He kept coming.


To my amazement, he swam within about 10 feet of me.  He swam BETWEEN me and the shore.  He kept looking over at me, fully aware that I was there.

I wanted to 'talk' him but did not want to alarm him so I stayed quiet.

As he slowly swam by me, only then did I 'talk' to him with some quiet hoots.

After he had passed by me a little ways, he turned and started to swim back towards me.  I gave a few more hoots.  He returned 2 quiet hoots of his own.  Two or three times he swam a little ways away and then turned and came back towards me.

Then finally he dove underwater and I lost sight of him.

Encounters like this are ones that forever stay emblazoned in your memory.

What a privilege to have a close encounter of this kind with a beautiful loon.

As I was walking toward the shore, I thought to myself that no one will believe a loon swam within 10 feet of me.  So in my own mind I decided I was going to change it to 15 feet.  lol  Even then I did not know if people would believe such a close encounter.

When I got up to shore the neighbors were sitting on their front lawn.  Their kids and grandkids are here from Denver.  They had had a picnic and were sitting around the campfire.

I didn't know if they had seen what happened so I started to walk over to tell them.  But even before I got over there, they said they had watched the whole thing.  They said 'it looked like he came within 10 feet of you!'

I said THANK YOU for saying that because I had decided that no one would believe it if I said 10 feet.  But we agreed that the loon was only about 10 feet away from me.  So that put my mind at ease that I had not exaggerated how close and special this encounter was.

May you have your own special "loon encounters"!


Copyright 2016  Larry R Backlund