Today there was a Common Loon at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. This comes also on the day that ABJ, the oldest recorded Common Loon, has returned to Seney National Wildlife Refuge where he was banded and born 32 years ago.
Over the past few years, loons have become my favorite bird. To me, they represent serenity and a connection with nature, as in times when Native Americans walked the sacred grounds of both of these national refuges. To think of a time when this area, and northern Michigan, were populated with forest, marshes, native plants, and plentiful native species of mammals and birds gives me great peace.
When I (felt the need) to quit my (what I thought to be) dream job in August of 2017, I needed to find peace; I needed to slow down, quiet the noise, and find peace. I kept thinking of going up north. I wanted to see the vastness of Lake Superior and her cold, but comforting waters. I wanted to stare up at the pine trees as they reached for the sky. And, I wanted to see and hear the loons.
My grandma, who loves to travel, offered to take me up north. At the time, I was still grappling with leaving my job. I remember the first room we stayed in at Munising was right out of town on South Bay. I took a cup of coffee out to a deck chair and sat down. The crisp air was so refreshing and it was the first time, in probably years, that I felt like I could breathe; the fresh lake air filled my lungs and I felt like I could finally relax. I sat out there for a while listening to the lake lap at the shore and then… the loons called. As if they were right on cue I, for the first time in a long time, felt content.