I want to write about living on a lake through a winter. I want to write about sewing and knitting, family and friends, cookouts and boating.
As I thought about our life on the lake, I considered just what it is about living on a lake that made my days complete. There are so many things, but I will say that #1 on the list is how blessed I felt to be able to live so close to so many of God's creatures, both great and small. From the hummingbirds that crowd our feeders to the deer we see and hear crashing through the woods, each one of them fills my heart. The incredible beauty of Wood Ducks, Buffleheads and other migratory birds that stop in on their way south take my breath away. The grand pine trees that line our property, the tiny lichen that climbs our walls... I am grateful for every living thing that fills our days on the lake. I'm trying to love the dock spiders, but struggle a bit on that. Google Dock Spider and you will understand.
Among all of these creatures that surround us, the one that has captivated me the most is the Common Loon. When I was very young, my father every summer took us to Togue Pond, at the base of Mount Katahdin. That is my earliest memory of listening for the calls of the loons in the night. Some of the happiest times of my life were times when the loons provided the background music in the night.
My life has been full of camping trips on New England lakes, where the loons call. Lying in a tent, falling asleep to those calls, are nights I will never forget. I paddled the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Maine 6 times, David and I took our kids camping many times, and there they learned of the calls in the night. So many nights filled with so much peace, I cannot count them.
How lucky are we, that the lake we are on is occupied by Common Loons. Not every lake is. Loons are very particular and extremely territorial. They need a lot of space, they eat a lot of fish. Their nesting sites need to be just so, as they cannot really walk. Our lake, Northwood Lake in NH, has everything a Common Loon requires, and we have two territorial pairs and many visiting loons. At night before nesting season begins, the calls are constant and unforgettable.
With the loons on the lake, I made the decision to be a Loon Watcher for the Loon Preservation Committee (www.loon.org). It is more of an assignment than I ever dreamed it would be, and I've already learned and accomplished more than I ever expected. As the Loon Watcher for the lake, during my first season (2015) my goal was to meet as many residents as I could, and somehow put together a population of residents committed to the safety and well being of our loons. So, I went from dock to dock to dock, and as soon as the words "Hi! I am from the Loon Preservation Committee..." popped out of my mouth, I was welcomed with open arms and ice water and great conversations. This has been one of my favorite parts of being a Loon Watcher. The people I've met and those that have become fast friends and helpers. To keep the unification going, I started a newsletter and one by one gathered people's e-mail addresses.
And, that's where all of my writing energy has gone over the last year. I hope I get some of it back here, on my Blog.