Hidden in the morning mist of Hunts Pond – our Hancock home away from home at the Inn – are two loons that must be thinking about leaving for their winter salt water environs now that the first snow has arrived and temperatures today are in the low double-digits.
We love the loons. They tag along behind the fishermen’s canoes and paddle over towards us when they see us on our dock. They exude the sort of confidence that derives from an estimated 30 to 50 million years on earth and a portfolio of skills, won over time, transferable to air, land and water (fresh water or salt). Remarkable, really. They are among the Eagle Scouts of evolution. They are ungainly on the ground, not graceful fliers, but clearly loons opted for diversification, perhaps because it made sense to hedge their bets at a time when volcanoes were still erupting and meteors still possibly plummeting to earth.
Today the loons spend most of their time floating along on peaceful waters, which we can agree is something that would never have been allowed in our houses. “You can’t simply float through life,” the parents would have exclaimed. “Honestly, are you just going to keep floating along?!”
Yes, well, a few more hundreds-of-thousands of years and maybe that’s exactly what we’ll do. On peaceful waters.
For now, with our coffee in the morning or a glass of wine in the evening we get in touch with our inner loon by watching them float along, and deep in the night, when awake, by listening to their plaintive call echoing back to the beginning of noises. Hallooo, they wail. Are you out there?
We will miss the loons. Winter will sweep them away until April, replacing them with the sound of owls at night and coyotes, which offer similar echoes from our past. We will set up our game camera on the edge of the Pond for the winter again which captured a Bob Cat commuting across the ice and, of course, the ghostly images of the coyotes at night, just steps from our door.
Yes, they’re out there.
May you float on peaceful waters this fall season where you are, out there.
Jarvis & Marcia.