Saturday, July 12, 2014

Looney Tunes

It was one of those gorgeous evenings when the lake was calm, the temperature was just right, and the sun was dropping quickly in a pinkish western sky. So after dinner we decided to take the kayaks out to see if we could get a closer look at our resident loon family which had been waking us up the last few nights with their nocturnal serenading.

We were able to get within about 100’ or so before dad decided we were too close and got a little concerned. So he dove and came up behind us and proceeded to put on his ‘look at me, I’m hurt’ display to draw us away from his mate and the two chicks.

(Apologies for the video quality – I was bobbing about in a kayak filming at maximum zoom, with a float plane buzzing overhead.)

It was also about this time that the missus discovered she had a stowaway in her kayak. A small (24” or so) garter snake had, we assume, been quietly chasing insects in the kayak when we came along and disturbed his hunt with an unexpected boat ride. Needless to say the return trip was much quicker than the leisurely paddle out into the middle of the lake. And the snake wasn’t too happy either.

I think a very thorough inspection will be in order before our next trip.

But all’s well that ends well. We saw the loons and got some photos, the snake has a new story to tell the snakettes, we had a nice paddle – at least the first half, and once again we got to realize just how fortunate we are to live where we do.

14 comments:

  1. The missus must be a very, very cool lady.

    Any snake, at any distance freaks Susan out. But a snake IN a kayak out on the water with her in it????? I can't even imagine.

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    1. David - She was pretty cool about it as long as it stayed down by her feet where she could see it. It was when it went behind her back and she couldn't see what it was doing that the really fast paddling started.

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  2. I loved hearing the loon. I miss that sound. Haven't heard it since leaving BC.

    And as for the snake, it sounds like your misses handled it well. Me, the kayak would have emitted a high pitched squeal and I would have swam back to shore.

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    1. Trobairitz - It really is a beautiful call. And on a clear, silent night you can hear it for miles it seems. And as for swimming to shore, I have to admit I'm somewhat surprised that wasn't the reaction in this case as well.

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  3. Canajun glad to see your lake's loon family is thriving, unfortunately my loons last year did not hatch. The nesting pair are back on the lake again this year but in a location I can't as easily see. There is nothing as calming as the loons calling to each other in the evening. As for the snake, I hope he was charged a fee for the ride.

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    1. VStar Lady - They seem to have 2 chicks every year pretty consistently. We've looked for the nest but haven't yet found it - lots of wetlands around the edges of the lake so I expect it's well hidden. And the snake got off scot free.

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  4. I would love to hear loons, but we have none around here. I do enjoy waking to the sound of our mourning doves that nest around our area. So peaceful!

    I think that snake might have been swimming had she been wound up in the kayak with me!

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    1. Deb - We have the mourning doves here as well. There's one pair that's always cooing around our house. Lovely sound.

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  5. Deb reminded me; I think of the loons in lake country and the mourning doves here away from water. Both are sounds worth being quiet for.

    Heard a recent story here in MN about the loon hatch being way down due to the horrible black fly population. Reports are that the flies were so bad that it was driving the females from the nests, abandoning the eggs.

    Take care of yours!

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    1. Coop - Hadn't heard anything about the loon hatch being down here4, but the flies have certainly been the worst I can recall this year. Terrible.

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  6. Ain't life just great when it's full of these little adventures.

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    1. Nigel - Not sure the missus would agree. :)

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  7. I could sit there forever and just listen to them. Never seen or heard them in person. Would love too.

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    1. Katy Did - Add it to your bucket list. No sound like it across a quiet lake in the country.

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