I have been watching nesting Loons and hatchlings on Hermit Lake for six years. Look closely (enlarge by double clicking). How many loons are in this photo?
It has been amazing to count the number of species I see on my frequent visits to the nesting area.
Our planet has evolved into a perfect working system supporting a multitude of species. For example, over 14,000 species alone live in Galls (oak puffballs are galls caused mostly by wasps). These species are filling their "Niches" and doing their thing to make the System/Habitat work.
Hermit Lake is large enough to support a single pair of nesting loons.
The pair frequently hatches two chicks, as they did this year. One hatched June 23 just after 8:00 a.m. By 9:34 a.m. the baby was swimming and eating its first solid meal -- a small yellow perch.
In 24 hours, almost to the minute, the second egg hatched. I'm amazed at the look of caring expressed in this adult's eyes. By June 25 all four of the loons had swam to the "Big Lake", about a 1/4 mile north of their nest.
When I returned to the larger lake on the 30th of June, I was greeted by this massive head. Its head is as large as my two hands folded together.
When I reached the family, I found only one chick and the two adults.
Even though I really like the baby loons, the snapping turtle has kept the population to a family of three. As will the skunks if allowed to do "their thing" keep the population of snappers down. All this happens naturally without harming the habitat of Hermit Lake.
This lake represents one small part of the Global System. But humans tend to single out events and attempt to improve or manipulate outcomes to suit themselves. This happens all over our world.
Our Earth and its interconnected systems require balance. When one species dominates, that imbalance threatens the whole planet.
We can choose to be part of the natural system, or we can deny our very nature and fail as a species.
There is so much to see and enjoy everywhere we walk, paddle, or peddle. This guy was with me for an entire paddle around the lake. Gretchen was very happy he chose My kayak.
Has anyone seen this beauty flitting about the area?
What would you name it?
Enjoy your niche. "Share" in nature.