Monday, July 19, 2004

"The Loons, Norman!"

Most people remember the loons from the movie "On Golden Pond" with Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. Loons are odd shaped birds that are more at home in the water than on the land.
 
We have a mating pair that return to our pond each summer.  Last year they hatched two chicks.
 
One of the wonderful things about having loons on your pond is their haunting voice. They have four distinct calls which they use to communicate with other loons.
 
Two of these calls are the tremolo and the wail. The tremolo sounds like a wild laugh and is used to signal alarm and to express annoyance. If you paddle too close to a loon it will sound the alarm with a tremolo.The wail is one of the loveliest of loon calls. It is used to regain contact with a mate when they are fishing or during the night.
 
Frequently we will hear the long, soft wail of the loon looking for a partner that may still be under water or swimming, unseen in the shadows of the shoreline. Once the partner hears the wail it responds in kind - reestablishing the connection and the two loons swim towards each other in greeting.
 
They will do this all evening long - calling back and forth then greeting each other. Between the loons, the frogs and the beaver slapping the water with his tail some evenings sound like an all pond symphony.
 
Staying in communication is important for people too. Particularly in situations where we rely on folks to assist us. It is easy to get our feathers ruffled and just stop talking but that does not address the problem and hinders our ability to do what's right for other people. 
 
If you feel deserted  - call out! Let the other person know that you feel like you are doing it all on your own. You may be surprised that the other person had no idea how you felt and will be glad to help.

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