The Loons of Winter – Day 96

I am going to miss our Common Loons when they leave us soon.


These loons in our harbors, became my friends during hunting season.

Like this one I often visit with at Wychmere Harbor, whose plumage is really starting to change as the time for making new loon families draws near.


Like great, wide, slow-moving barges, these birds paddle, submerge and…

Yes, I have even caught them napping, every now and again.


If I do not see you again before you leave, Dear Loon, be well, be safe.

‘Til we meet again. ❤

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Goodnight, Dear Loon – Day 90

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m over the moon for LOONS.


Our Common Loons are having a tough time right now with a high incidence of lead poisoning; some from gun shot during the hunting season but even more from ingested lead fishing tackle.

The other night I turned in at Snow Inn Road, hoping I might see a loon fishing along the Wychmere Harbor shoreline.

And sure enough, there he was!


Upon closer look, I noticed that his eyes were closed.


He looked so sleepy; I suspect, tuckered out from a full afternoon of diving for shellfish.

It was comical to watch him because, try as he might to keep those little red eyes of his open…


The lids just kept on a-closing, closing as he slowly, slowly swam along at the water’s edge.


It was, in a word, mesmerizing.

At times, I felt like he knew I was there as I kept hopping back and forth in my car; driving a short ways up Snow Inn, then hopping out again to photograph him.

A Loon Paparazzi, for sure, that’s me!   😉

And yet, he didn’t seem to mind.

No, not one little bit.


Paddling, paddling, paddling he went, past empty summer houses, as I followed along up the road, behind.

He swam past my favorite old black King Post…


And all the while I could see those eyes, drooping, drooping as he swam in and out of the waning sunlight.


At last I decided to head on home and leave him in peace for his evening nap.


But not without getting one more look at what I would have to say was the dearest image I have ever seen of a loon, in my life.


Goodnight dear Loon, sleep well…

And please, please, please, be well.  ❤

Crazy as a Loon – Day 10

I love the days when the ice is just starting to freeze in the harbor, especially right around sunset time.


Nobody in their right mind would be caught dead out there besides me.

Well, except maybe the loons.


I can usually hear them, long before I see them.

Out in open water, thrashing and splashing with something they’ve just caught from the deep below.

As soon as they surface with their catch, they are determined to crack it open before the gulls descend to snatch it away.


Turning it this way, then that I can hear them go at it, clack-clack-clack!


Diving beneath the surface whenever the shell slips away from them, they get a grip on it again in the icy waters below where they are so at home, so agile.


Managing it all with just a dagger-like bill, amazing balance and powerful legs – and no hands!


Finally, at long last, they free some juicy, fleshy crustacean from its shell and down it goes with one gulp!


Then, they take a drink, and do it all over again.

And there am I, crouching by the water, their enraptured audience; tugging at fingerless gloves every few shots as I shiver with the cold.

Yet smiling, the whole time.

Am I nuts to do this?

Well, maybe just crazy.

Crazy as a Loon.  😉


November Sunrise Takes a Bow

I felt like I really needed to see the sun rise this morning at Forest Beach; our last November ‘rise for the year.

And I am happy to report that the sight of the rising sun…


This loon rising up to meet it halfway….


The amazing light turning everything in its path to gold…


And yes, even this photo-bombing sparrow who surprised the heck out of his mate…


I came away from the ‘rise feeling good-to-go, ready to face the world again.


And ever so glad I had come!   😉