Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27: Loon at Noon

Although it's not unusual to sometimes see loons on the river near my office, I don't usually hear them here. At high noon on this sunny late summer day, however, the repeated calls of a loon rode the breeze down the river and in through my office windows--a nice reminder for me that while I work away inside, water and birds are not too far away outside.

Of course I instantly began to play in my head with the words loon and noon... The loon calls at noon near the full moon. Too soon? The mouth loves making those long "oo" sounds. No wonder kids learning to talk like "Goodnight, Moon" so much. Or books about loons. Around here most children know what a loon is and can imitate for you what sound it makes as soon as they're old enough to talk.

But beyond the wordplay, I also enjoyed the fact that this timely loon served as my lunch bell today. I don't know what made me check the time when I heard its calls, but when I did, I was surprised to see that it was noon. I'd thought it was much earlier in the day. I was reminded how when the woolen mill was still operating in downtown Camden, its whistle for lunch breaks and shift changes set the schedule for the whole town. When you heard it go off in the afternoon, you knew it was 4:00, for example. Perhaps this loon is the same punctual bird that calls while flying upriver every morning at 7:30.

Flute-song of the loon
celebrates the sun at noon.
And wind, and crickets.

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