As you might have noticed my letter last week was tardy. This was because I was out to camp for the better part of a week. Fortunately or unfortunately, you call it, we have no wi-fi access there to send out a letter to you. I write at camp most of the time but have no way of sending out my thoughts. I suppose some of you might think all of this is quite primitive but it is a compromise I am willing to make for my needed time away from town. The time away is like a beneficial tonic so I will just apologize for the delay and call it good.
My wife gave me a late Christmas present the other day. She had cleverly hidden a beautiful photo under our bed in town and had then promptly forgotten she had done so. It remained hidden there until the other day when a friend of hers who had been with her when she bought the photo asked why it hadn’t been placed on our wall. My wife sheepishly handed me the belated present. The lovely photo is of a mother loon and her little ones. One of the chicks is perched high on her back, while the other one, perhaps more adventurous rides calmly in her wake.
From time to time I can hear a haunting loon tremolo on our lake though I have never seen a nesting pair. I have wondered why, as the lake as remote as it is, would have little human interference that would drive the mostly misanthropic loon to leave. Hmm, as an aside, can a loon be misanthropic? At least in my mind they are. I suppose technically a reader may say they can’t be but I’ll leave that question to the writers of dictionaries.
I suspect that the loons avoid our lake because it is so deeply stained with leaf tannin. The dark water probably doesn’t allow the diving loon to catch the small fish that are the most part of its diet. At least that’s my theory. Every spring I listen attentively at night for the lonely call but to this date have been mostly disappointed. Unfortunately, in Canada due to lake acidification and the resultant depletion of small fish there has been a profound loss of the loons over much of the country. Pollution of this sort has its cost.
I sincerely hope there are loons where you live and that you can experience the lovely call of a returning loon in the spring. Listen.
Till next time.