Well! You’ll never guess what Tami’s gone and done now!
I hadn’t seen a blog post of the ice cream party. So I went by the house to check on her thinking she was sick, or had fallen down and couldn’t get back up or something.
To my surprise, I found she was just fine. And when I asked where the Ice Cream Party blog post was, you know what she said??
“I didn’t have time to take photos.”
“Really???” I exclaimed. “But we had an ice cream party! With toppings! YOU loooooove ice cream with toppings!”
“I have a couple photos Maggie took at Arts and Crafts,” she said sheepishly.
“Well, my little campers do look like they’re having fun,” I said. “Great masks! Especially on this one . . . . ”
“Um . . . Ben’s not wearing a mask-” Tami began.
“Pretend he is! We need photos for the post!” I cried. “I can’t believe you didn’t get any water balloon photos or game photos. Or Ice Cream photos. It WAS Ice Cream Party Weekend after all. Sheesh.”
“I was training a new employee and we were stocking the store and-”
“But you had time to take pictures of the eagles-” I protested.
“And the loons . . .
“And even the fox cubs!!”
Tami patted my antlers. She knows I can never stay mad when she does that. Then she said, “I’m sorry, Maxx. I guess we’ll just have to have an Ice Cream Party blog post without Ice Cream Party pictures. ”
I sighed. “I’ll forgive you this time! But don’t let it happen again. It makes for a really, really boring post.”
I tell you, I have to keep an eye on her all the time!
I watched for about 20 minutes, as Mom and Dad silently dove time after time, rising with a tiny silver minnow to feed their hungry young one.
Whenever Mom and Dad dove at the same time, he’d put his face in the water too. Sometimes, his back end went up in the air so I saw a flash of white belly. He never made a sound, and quite honestly, it was hard to keep track of him. His dark gray coloring helps him blend in with the shadows on the water very nicely.
Which is another reason to steer clear of any loons over the next couple of months. The baby can’t dive, he’s like a tiny cork. He’s at risk to boaters who might not see him bobbing around on the water. If you see the loons, be sure to give them a wide berth.
Also, if he gets separated from his parents he’s at a greater risk of being gobbled up by a snapper or large bass from underneath or an eagle from overhead.
They’re very devoted parents!
I’m so excited they’ve had one baby survive! Especially knowing how their nest with the second egg flooded in the rains over the first weekend of June. I hope to get more photos to you soon . . .
In the meantime, please keep me updated if you happen to see the Loon Family. If you manage to take photos, I’d love to post them here and/or on Facebook. The baby’s going to grow fast!
All of a sudden, in spite of the light rain today, Tami felt the urge to grab my binoculars and head to the lake. We’d recorded eight inches of rain over the last two days, and we knew that while a camper had seen an adult loon on the nest Saturday morning, no one had mentioned it since.
We trudged through the wet underbrush to the top of a steep banking at the lake’s edge and gasped. The lake was so high! I trained binoculars on the island across from us. No matter how hard we searched, we couldn’t find the nest. The shore line was gone.
We heard a wail off to the right. And an answering cry to the left. The adults met in the middle and there, tucked under the protective wing on the back of one of them was a little, black fuzzy baby.
At first, we were sad not to see two. Tami thinks the rising waters of the lake kept the second egg from hatching. But there’s one, and he’s adorable!
Tami doesn’t have pictures yet, but she hopes to have some soon! Here’s last year’s babies though . . .
Tami snuck out onto the lake without me this past Sunday. I was so mad! I waited on shore with Ben and Cookie for her to come back.
I was tapping my hooves and snorting so much, Ben said, “Take it easy, big guy. You couldn’t fit in one of our kayaks anyway.”
Aw, shucks. I’d just about convinced myself he was probably right, when Tami came back grinning from ear to ear, and babbling stories about all the cool stuff she’d seen and heard.
And I was mad all over again.
She didn’t see one loon. Or two loons. Or even three loons.
Noooooooo. She saw FOUR loons!
Check out these fabulous pictures she took!
Because she saw four together and they aren’t being territorial, she figures they aren’t nesting yet. One adult always, always, sits on the egg to keep it warm. Hopefully they’ll nest soon. As I type this, I can hear their soulful calls rising up from the lake.
Tami said that at this point, she’d already begun writing a blog post in her head titled, the Best Kayak Ride Ever!, when she heard a familiar call, but she couldn’t quite place where she’d heard it before. So she softly paddled toward it . . . into an inlet . . .
There on the shoreline, two eagles were locked in a battle. Just as she was beginning to wonder if they had gotten stuck in the bushes, they broke apart.
The eagle on the left was a little duller in color and didn’t have a pure white head. It was then that Tami realized the adult was warning off an immature eagle who’d returned. The adult squawked a final, last-word-kind-of warning, before flying off toward the campground. This guy left shortly after . . . in the opposite direction of course.
After that, Tami was absolutely, positively sure she’d seen all she was going to see on the lake for one day. After all, she’d been paddling for almost 2 and half hours already. She’d kayaked with loons. She’d watched battling eagles.
Just as she was about to pull her kayak up on shore though, she heard the nesting eagle cry out and she turned back. Ben, Cookie and I let out a collective groan as she lifted her camera again . . .
Tami says she has lots more photos, but she’ll save them for another blog post. In the meantime, if you’d like to see different photos from that day, go to Tami’s Writing Blog.
The Joyce Family brought Tami some loon photos this morning.
And we all know how much Tami loves her loons! It’s been “the loons this!” and “the loons that!” and “Aren’t the loons soooooo cute!” all . . . day . . . long.
She used to talk about ME like that!
Here’s the empty nest, the first clue the babies hatched, because right away, Mom and Dad coax them to the water.
They’ll never set foot on land again, until they’re ready to have chicks of their own.
So Paul and his family went about fishing and trolling. It didn’t take long until they ran into the loons family.
And sure enough they didn’t just find one ~
They found two babies!
How awesome is that? They’re sooooo cute. But soooo vulnerable. Snapping turtles and large fish are predators from below; the eagles from above. Mom and Dad are going to have to keep them very, very close.
Sorry about the delay – this spring has just been so much fun. Dave opened the pool, Tami planted all her pretty flowers, the guys put the boats in the lake, and we finally got to meet our new playmate Maggie!
As you can tell, Maggie had a fight with the waterballoons . . . and she said the waterballoons won!
Maggie’s gonna help out with recreation! She’s a lot of fun, we had a blast with all the events packed in to Memorial Day Weekend. She did a great job running Candy Bar Bingo, helping Debbie out with arts and crafts, and playing wiffleball. My favorite was story time
with a cup of Moose Mix! Yum!
Even though we got rained on a little bit, it didn’t stop us! We still had our Memorial Day Parade – we held our umbrellas in one hand and our noise makers in the other. It was a great time!
I made lots and lots of new friends ~ and found some old ones too!
Oooo! Good news! Mama Loon is back this year, and sitting on her nest. Do you know what that means? We’ll hopefully be seeing baby loons soon!
Hey, by the way, before I crawled into bed last night I caught a glimpse at this weekend’s Rec Schedule and guess what?
. . . the Bouncy House is coming out this weekend! C’mon! Come and play!
Everyone here at Poland Spring Campground hopes you and your family had a fun, safe, relaxing Labor Day Weekend.
Our recreation program has sadly ended, but we’re still open till Columbus Day Weekend with off season rates. My campers will attest to the fact that Lower Range Pond is so quiet and gorgeous time of year. In the last two weeks, it’s been reported that the loon family has been out and about, and the gray heron has been seen quite often too.
If you like a quieter pace, Poland Spring Campground in Fall is the place to be!
Boat rentals are still available; we have kayaks, rowboats and canoes. Lower Range Pond is a long, 290 acre lake with a 9.9hp limit. There’s lots of room to explore!
To see more fishing pictures, click on the fishing tag on the right. There’s small mouth bass, large mouth bass, perch, rainbow trout and pickerel. Brown trout is stocked by the wardens every Fall. The largest reported catch this season was a a 6lb 22 inch small mouth bass. And yes! I do have proof of Joe Fowler’s catch! Look for a 2010 fishing post, soon.
Warm days, cool nights, the soulful cry of the loon
and a crackling campfire with gooey s’mores. Fall camping is the best!