We’ve lived at Hillhouse long enough now to know who can we can expect to visit us each year.

In the fall, we welcome hundreds of trumpeter swans and Canadian geese.  They pause in their southernly flights for a respite on Gretchen’s Mirror, bobbing on the patches of open water and walking drunkenly about the iced over portions of the lake.

In the winter, we look up from the soup we’re stirring on the stove to watch the coyotes bound across the frozen surface of the Mirror.

In the spring, we observe mama Moose return year after year to deliver her calves, and teach them to unfurl their long, velvety legs in order to walk through the Mirror’s shallow depths.

And in the summer, we keep a sharp eye out for the pair of loons that likes to keep its nest on the Mirror.

I’ve written about the loons before, about their silvery, mournful call, unlike any other sound I’ve heard reverberate off the Rockies.  My heart always lifts when the first one of us announces that the loons have returned, that they are building a new nest, that the chick has hatched.  And of course, I’ve written about the chick that didn’t hatch until Honeydew and I accidentally cooked it, too.  Sorry about that, loons.

Last weekend, Honeydew, Darling Summer Help II (DSH2), Brother Dear and Pseudo Sista brought back photographic evidence that not only are our loons back, but Mama is sitting on the nest.

And so we’ll tiptoe around the Mirror for the next few weeks, hoping that the first part of July will bring us a new head to count, Baby Loon, and that we’ll get to watch Mama and Daddy Loon teach their fuzzy young one all sorts of Loony things.  Like all parents, we especially like watching the Baby Loon learn to take off, to fly.

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