Flander's Lane, Washington Maine

Flander's Lane is named after my grandfather, Roland Flanders. It is a short dirt road with a few camps set on Washington Pond. There are tales that Flander's Lane is haunted. At least that's what my grandfather says.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Maine Loons

Two LoonsI could not sleep because when I woke up at 5:30 AM, I could not hear rain. You see, I've been waiting all week for the rain to let up so I could venture out on my kayak with my video camera. Early mornings, as the thick mist rises from the lake, all the critters come out to play. I wanted to get out there and get some photos.

I have no idea what I will find when I venture out this early. My mind wanders to the possibility of seeing a giant moose, coyotes or the dreaded fisher. I have to say it's not easy kayaking and shooting video. I keep the video camera going the whole time so I don't miss anything. I hold the camera between my knees as I paddle. It's a bit awkward, and it makes me appreciate all the nature photographers and National Geographic folk that make it look so easy.

This morning as soon as I set out, there were two Maine Loons doing what they do best, just looning around. These are really big birds up close. I love the black and white contrast of their feathers. They look like an ink drawing just floating there in the lake. So simple and so beautiful.

Maine LoonThe lake is perfectly still this early before the sun makes wind and waves. One stroke of my paddle, and my kayak moves silently so that I can zoom in and get amazing footage of these rare birds. Loons make bizarre sounds, and up close one can hear them talking to one another. They say things to each other like, "hey, c'mon over here, there's some fish just below me" and stuff like that in little throaty honks. I'm amazed at how far they swim when they disappear under the water. They go under with a *blurp* for just a second, and then in an instant, show up a few hundred feet ahead, next to their mate, almost by magic.

This Loon couple was very distinct. One of them was mostly white under the wings. Not as black as it's mate. I have no idea which is male and which is female, but I'm guessing they are a couple... but if so... who's tending the eggs? Perhaps they are friends, and their mates are back at the nest, as I believe that Loon couples take turns warming the eggs. I can't wait until August to see little baby Loons riding on Mama's back. That'll be a hoot.

I managed to get a few minutes of Loon video for you all to see. I can't bring you all to the lake, but I can bring a little bit of the lake to you.


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