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.  😉


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Have You Ever Seen an Eider Dance?

During our icy Cape Cod winters, there’s nothing that I find more peaceful than looking out and seeing an Eider who’s found a sliver of open water for fishing.


A few weeks ago, I was watching this handsome fellow who suddenly hopped up on the ice…


And then began to dance his way across the frozen surface with all the grace and style of Fred Astaire himself!


He was heading toward the next patch of open water…


And as he plopped down into his newfound sliver of blue…


I noticed that he’d found a new friend there.

A female Bufflehead!


Could this be his Ginger, I wondered??

I could tell by the way he tipped up, puffing his chest…


That he liked that idea very much!  😉