Tuesday, May 28, 2019 10:15 pm CDT

55 degrees F Clear Wind Calm

Sunrise 5:30 am CDT Sunset 8:50 pm CDT

Today truly has been a SIMON SAYS day!

Brilliant sunshine, deep blue skies, gentle breezes, stunning spring green colors all around, apples trees and pear trees and plum trees and tulips and daffodils in bloom and warmer temperatures. These are the days that Minnesotans dream about in the depths of the short cold days of winter.

Yesterday was once again a day of constant rain and wind and cold.

But that gives our loons a little bit of respite. Other than the constant bouncing of the nest on the rolling waves, the loons are comfortable in the rain and cool temperatures. They are even used to riding up and down on the large waves.

The cool temperatures and wind and rain have given our loons a break from the black flies which torment them. Black flies have been known to cause loons to abandon nests if they get bad enough. There is some relatively new research that show that older females are more apt to abandon their nest due to black flies and other disturbances. It is not yet known for sure why that is but the data seems to indicate that.

Twenty two of the first 28 days of May have been below normal in temperature. So apparently the feeling that it has been an unusually chilly spring is borne out by the data.

But it may be that for the last few days of May, Mother Nature may actually listen to SIMON!

Temperatures are predicted to warm over the next few days and by the end of the week we may see temperatures of 80 degrees. While we appreciate the warmer temperatures, the loons do better in the cooler temperatures.

As the temperatures warm, watch for the loons to sit with an open bill as they pant. Much like a panting dog, it is a mechanism for the loon to get rid of excess body heat as it sits in the warm sun.

I realized that I have not talked here in the blog about expected hatch dates for our eggs.

The first egg was apparently laid at 2:01 pm on Saturday, May 11th. And the second egg was laid at 12:21 am on Tuesday, May 14th.

The eggs should hatch sometime between Thursday, June 6th and Thursday, June 13th. I would not expect them to hatch before the 6th nor after the 13th. If they have not hatched by June 13th, I would be concerned about whether they will hatch at all.

Now if I have to make my best guess (always a dangerous thing to do!), I would guess that they best chance of hatching would be June 8 - 10.

Eggs often do something called ‘catch up’! Even though the eggs were laid 2 1/2 days apart, it would not surprise me at all to see them hatch within a day of each other.

The last day or two of incubation chicks can actually be heard ‘peeping’ inside the eggs. And it is believed that chicks actually communicate with each other as well as the parents, even though they are still inside the eggs.

So prepare yourself for the excitement as we approach expected hatch dates.

And as we all are glued to our screens hoping to catch that first glimpse of a beautiful little loon chick!

It doesn’t get any better than that!

Copyright 2019 Larry R Backlund