Friday, August 28, 2009


Mike managed to get the entire loon family to pose for a portrait. Unusual, because mostly they scatter across the whole lake, fishing (parents) and goofing off (chicks).

The parents are on the right, followed by the chicks (still in immature plumage) on the left. You can find a close-up photo here; they really are beautiful birds.

One of the cabin residents has been tracking the chicks' progress all summer, and says they actually hatched 2 weeks apart. They are very playful, and love thrashing around on the water - apparently they like to create a commotion, just like kids.

I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon sitting down by the water reading and watching one of the chicks (probably the older of the two) trying to learn to fly. Well, first he has to learn to take off from the water. Which means many trips the whole length of the lake, flapping his wings like crazy but dragging his feet on the water, creating friction that prevents him from getting fully airborne. When he finally gives up at the end of the run, there's a certain amount of mumbling and grumbling going on - sound carries well over water and I can hear him saying "dammit, I nearly had it that time." Then he tries again. I'm hoping to see him succeed, and cheer him on.

As soon as the second chick learns to fly, the family will begin their autumn trip southward.

As I write this, the loons are calling to each other across the lake. Wonderful sound!


neki desu said...

what a great photo!
perfect for a three weft dw or taquete with your new jaq.loom :)

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of family trips to northern Minnesota and Wisconsin when I was a kid. I haven't heard loons in many years. Thanks for the reminder.


Nancy said...

Thanks for the lovely descriptions of your vacation. Perhaps you shoudl temporarily rename your journal to be "Sandra's LOON Blog!"