The Song of the Loon

Lake Loon (2)

While on vacation this summer, I had the privilege of listening to the Loons from my porch every evening  as the sun was going down.  I tried repeatedly to photograph these beautiful birds, but to no avail.   They preferred to mingle with each other on the opposite side of the lake away from the noise and far away from humans.  The Paige family spent 2 wonderful weeks together and it was now time to head home.  The car was packed.  The motor boat had been pulled from the water.   I was sitting on the porch looking at the gorgeous and very still lake, trying to take in every moment, when the Loons began to sing.  How I wanted to see them up close!  I went inside, grabbed my camera, 200 mm lens and tripod and set up camp on the porch.  Perhaps this time, I thought,  the  picture would be clear even though the light was low in the sky.  I shot off a series of pictures, but each one was grainy and blurry.  I was now faced with a choice – sit and listen to the Loons and pray that their song remained in my mind and in my heart until I could see them again next year, or board the only thing that was not packed, my kayak.  I chose the latter and headed out across the lake keeping a watchful eye on the pair all the while listening to their song.  As I approached something happened.  Their song changed.  The beautiful sound that I had heard just a few minutes ago changed to a low, almost mournful sound…a sound of alarm.  I stopped paddling and watched for a few moments the Loon that was now in front of me.  She stared not at me, but through me.  Her red eye caught the descending sunlight and we looked at each other for what seemed an eternity.   It was as if she was saying, “Can I trust you?”  I paddled a bit closer to her and took out my camera.  She posed and I shot off a series of pictures quickly.  It became obvious to me that she was now comfortable with my presence, so comfortable that it seemed as though she was playing with the lens of my camera.  I stayed with her for 30 minutes, observing her and photographing her as she paddled back and forth between the nearby shore and my kayak.  She had become a “silent friend” for those 30 minutes.  No song was sung, it didn’t need to be.  I thanked her for the photo moment and started paddling back across the lake, back to our cabin.   Half way across I heard it…the song of the Loons…both of them.  Their song, not mine!  And now, I have a visual reminder of our time together and if I close my eyes really tight…I hear their beautiful love song in my mind and in my heart.

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