Saturday, April 20, 2019 7:40 am CDT

41 degrees F Sunny Wind 4 mph S

Sunrise 6:21 am CDT Sunset 8:05 pm CDT

On this Easter weekend, it is a spectacular spring morning here at Loon Lake!

A brilliant blue sky. Gentle zephyrs of breezes blowing from the south form small ripples and wavelets on the lake. The sun has only been up for a little over an hour and is still rubbing the sleep out of its eyes.

An immature eagle sits in one of the trees along the shore, surveying his world and looking for anything that promises to be an easy meal. Numerous Canada geese loudly honk as they try to establish their territories and look for nesting sites. There are four huge and beautiful trumpeter swams swimming in the middle of the lake.

But the best part is … out on the lake there is the haunting and mournful call of a loon!

Yes, our loons are back!

What a difference a week can make!

A week ago today, even though the main part of the lake had opened in the high winds from last week’s storm, there was solid ice up to shore. The loon nest sat shivering under a heavy blanket of wet, dense snow. The loon nest was not going to be able to go in the lake any time soon.

Mother Nature seemed to be playing a game of “SIMON SAYS” with us this spring.

Do you remember the childhood game of ‘Simon Says’?

You are supposed to do what the leader of the game says. ‘Take one step forward.’ But you can only do it if the leader prefaces the command with the words “Simon Says”. If you take a step forward without the leader saying “Simon Says”, you lose.

And that seems to be what Mother Nature has been doing for the last several weeks. She makes us think spring is here. But then it isn’t. She has done that a number of times this spring.

A week ago Monday was a beautiful spring day as the NCAA Final Four was in town at US Bank Stadium.

But by Wednesday and Thursday of last week, we were in the midst of a full blown spring blizzard. Heavy wet snow. Howling winds just short of hurricane strength. Schools closed. Roads blocked. Motorists stranded. Hundreds of accidents.

Apparently no one told Mother Nature “‘Simon Says’ Spring Is Here”.

Then at the start of this week, once again it seemed like spring was finally here with temperatures of 70 degrees and sunshine. And all the ice went out of the lake. But by Wednesday it was cold and windy and blustery and heavy rains.

But today once again promises to be a beautiful spring day!

Can we all say it together?

“SIMON SAYS ‘Spring is here!!’”

A week ago Friday I got my first report that someone saw a loon on the lake. In the midst of ice and snow our loons were back!

I did not see my first loon until last Sunday afternoon. And then I saw 3 of them!

I wanted to get the loon nest ready and in the water. But with solid ice up to shore and the nest covered with snow, it would have to wait for a few more days.

But now it is almost ready to go!!!

I have rebuilt the nest. We have been working on mounting the camera and getting all the technical details ironed out. A thousand and one details and everything that has to work together perfectly to let you watch our loons. But we are very close to putting the nest in the water and turning the LoonCam on for you for another “loon season”!

On Wednesday of this week, as the last of the ice finally disappeared, a pair of loons spent some time swimming around the very spot where the loon nest gets anchored every year. I have to believe it was “our pair” (the female that has been here for the last couple years and the new male from last year) because there is no reason for them to be swimming right in that spot unless they remembered it from previous years.

Once again I keep thinking ‘How do they know?’ ‘How do they remember?’

Not only to come back to the same lake after 9 months and THOUSANDS of miles of travel, but then to know the EXACT spot where the nest has been in years past?!

Then as one of the loons stayed by the place where the nesting platform gets anchored, the other one swam right up to within a few feet of shore. Right where the nesting platform was on the wheeled stand where I was working on it. And she sat there for some minutes looking up at it as if to say, “Well, what does he have it up THERE for? How does he expect us to get up on that?!!”

I am often reduced to just saying, “God , I don’t know how you done it but you done good!!”

So unless we get another blizzard or something else happens, hopefully the nest will be in the water very soon and the LoonCam will be LIVE for another ‘loon season’! And our beautiful loons will be back and on the nest.

On this beautiful weekend, I wish all of you a Happy Easter and a Happy Passover [Chag Sameach!].

Can we all also say it all together?

SIMON SAYS, “Loons … it is time to nest!”

Copyright 2019 Larry R Backlund