The loons were dunking their heads into the water, rubbing the back of their heads on their feathers, diving once in awhile, but mostly checking out this stranger on a very small rock island sticking out of their lake. Black flies and mosquitoes were attacking them and I think they wanted to hand them off to me. Here at six feet away the loon cooed softly and looked for her partner who started toward me as well.
This was a strange day as even the turtles on the rock nearby stubbornly refused to be scared into the water when one of our canoes came by as we fished. The fish followed our hooks in but most wouldn’t bite.
Very rarely is anything in nature at peace. We think of nature as peaceful but it’s an illusion. Kill or be killed, eat and be eaten, be alert, danger comes in an instant, life is often very short in the wild. As I watched these loons dive and swim through the school of shiner minnows in front of me, coo at me, and dive again;
I knew the school of shiners was gradually disappearing.
The turtles didn’t mind because the sun was out. One lake over where we made camp we watched a mink go after the loons nest. The male loon attacked the mink in the water and drove it away for a short time. We knew when the mink prevailed because of the loons crying in the darkness just before dawn. But have a cry and go on…and they did.
A couple days before going into the wilderness some of us observed a huge bald eagle attack a loon on her nest. She was vulnerable and the eagle had a meal.
Are we not like the loon in many ways? A predator to many things and yet so vulnerable as well. We live for the moment and do whatever is necessary for our comfort. We fight for those close to us and mourn when we lose. We just watch or scamper when tragedy strikes someone else. We want to be by big things that may shield us if trouble comes (a big bank account or working for a large stable company is nice).
Security, that’s what I’m looking for!
How about some serenity with that security? Now we have the world by the tail!
I took this picture from a high rock cliff protecting this back bay in the high winds. Later on we would have a canoe tipped by those winds as we ventured out of the safety of those rocks (I suspect the loons were using me as a shield for a while).
Unlike the loon we have a safety net beyond this life. Sooner or later this life goes back in the box (pardon the picture), but the next one will be great for those who know and trust our creator Jesus Christ. That’s a promise from the one who beat death. It’s explained well here.
One last shot will show what loons take for granted. After all it is what it is. We are different as we are created with the ability to enjoy beauty, get all choked up, spontaneously worship God, and forget time (until a mosquito bites).Gary
Comments are welcomed and encouraged
2 thoughts on “Consider the Loon”
Gary…what an awesome account…I love it. We live in northwestern Ontario on a small lake that always has multiple loon families sharing the waters. The reason I even discovered your article, is because I was googling what is the usual result from a bald eagle attacking a loon nest…this is all because of the unbelievable events I just experienced. While working in my garage I heard the sound loons make when a large bird of prey is flying overhead. This did not surprise me, since we had just witnessed a pair of osprey diving for fish just off our dock. However, the cries soon changed to extreme alarm. Being deep into a project, I did nothing but listen. The cries continued for a few minutes then stopped…I thought some fishing boat or canoe might have gotten too close to the nest. I was content all was well until the cries started again with great intensity. We live about a half mile to the lake, but I covered the distance in record time. Upon reaching the shoreline, I saw a huge bald eagle in the loon’s nest just down the shore. It’s head was bobbing up and down, and I suspected it was devouring the babies or eggs…or attacking the parent. I really didn’t know what to do, but because of my great love for the loon, I tried to start my pontoon boat (didn’t turn over for over 10 minutes) and go closer to examine the situation. As I got real close, the loon on the nest took off leaving the eagle…who after staring at me left shortly after. It perched in a nearby tree and watched and waited. The pair of loons swam further into the bay and left the nest unprotected. I decided to go back and get my canoe and venture in closer. The loons remained out in the lake, and the eagle remained in the tree. When arriving at the nest there was a newly hatched baby chirping loudly and an unhatched egg beside it. I was really in a quandry, because at that point, I thought I might have missed it big time and caused the parent to leave the nest, and the eagle would in time come for its lunch. At this point, I just gave the whole situation to God, and asked that His perfect will be done. I did give one last wave of the paddle at the eagle…only to have it fly away. The loons cried as it was flying over them, and I hurried back to my dock…and the loons quickly returned to the nest. While giving thanks to God for the unfolding events, it did cause me to reflect how we can interrupt nature’s way…and of course, now that the eagle knows where the nest is…will I ever get to see the piggy-backing babies on the water….only God knows. Bless you…Jim
What a great story Jim, Nature is sometimes very cruel. I know what you mean about protecting the little loons. Last year I took my Grand girls fishing and we saw two eagles trying to get a half grown baby. Our boat happened to get close enough so the eagles went away, but you know they will keep trying. Northwest Ontario is a great place!