Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Northwoods Crier

Having lived in Wisconsin for over 30 years, I became used to a
certain set of creatures inhabiting my neighboring natural areas. I
then descended on Adams County about a year ago, and with this move
came a whole new set of plants and animals with which I'm now slowly
being familiarized. It's hard to absorb all this new information, so
it was a treat to hear the haunting cry of a Common Loon echoing from
the foggy darkness out on the Ohio River. The Loon is one creature
I've seen and heard many times out on the lakes of the Northwoods.
And the Loon I heard tonight is probably headed there, or even
farther North.

One thing I have yet to decipher is whether the cry of this Loon was
to relay its coordinates to an incoming mate, or if this was a cry of
bewilderment - at how fast it was floating down the river. With heavy
rains today, and more predicted tomorrow, the Ohio River is swelling
with runoff. Loons nest within a few feet of lake water levels. While
the Ohio River would make miserable nesting habitat for loons because
of water levels that rise and fall 18 feet regularly, the Ohio River
is a regular Loon stop-over during migration. The Loon I heard
sounded off at about 9:15 PM and was between Brush Creek and Manchester.