Friday, July 30, 2010

July 30: Loon Chick

This evening we spent time with my four-year-old niece, who is staying with my parents for the weekend. We had dinner al fresco in the back yard, and then Fiona and I decided to sit on the dock and watch the river. Water bugs skittered across the surface, and Fiona was excited to see a couple of small fish slip past us underwater. As my husband got his fly rod ready to do a little casting before sunset, we all noticed the loon family in the middle of the river: two adults with one fuzzy brown chick between them. They seemed to be teaching it how to fish. Fiona looked through binoculars at them, but I'm not sure she knows how to use them well enough to see the birds. My mother tried to explain to her how loon calls are different depending on where they are, that the place, not the bird, determines what they sound like. I think that too was beyond Fiona's interest and comprehension at this point, but we'll make a birder out of her yet!

Fish began jumping as sunset burnished the clouds. Fiona was impressed with Uncle Paul's dragonfly fly. She'd probably have been even more impressed if he'd caught something with it. Four ducks that I think were wood ducks flew past. A beaver slowly made its way upriver, as it does every evening, a silver vee trailing behind it. And the loons drifted upriver too, still fishing. My dad built a small fire in the fire pit, and we all stayed outside in the growing dark, past Fiona's bedtime.  

Loon chick with parents--
family night on the river.
I watch with my niece.

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