Tasha, Holly, First Pontoon Ride of 2018 - UPDATE May 16, 2018

On this day in the 70’s F, Tasha and Holly got in the water. Painted turtlesPainted turtlesIn this 2:58 minute video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h303Vx7kkh0 Tasha eventually went over to touch noses with Holly. She gave Holly a playful swat that might have hurt. Holly backed off.

Medley of greenMedley of greenFor more fun than the bears seemed to be having, Scott, Peggy, Judy McClure, Donna, and I cranked the pontoon boat down into Eagles Nest Lake One and took a test ride in preparation for the Black Bear Field Courses (one slot open in the first course July 8-11, call 218-365-4480 for info).

Loon and painted turtlesLoon and painted turtlesWe wondered how many loon pairs (two) were on this 300 acre lake. One of the pairs was in my bay in shallow water among some weeds where loons have nested before. I would love to have them nest there and am crossing my fingers. As the loon swam out to the open water, it passed a painted turtle with both ignoring each other. When it reached deeper water, it dove and joined its mate in foraging, darting about just under the surface or foraging along the bottom making bubbles rise to the surface.

Ruby-throated hummingbirdRuby-throated hummingbirdWe then went to the far northeast corner of the lake to check an old beaver lodge that is still in good repair and probably being used.

Along the way, dozens of painted turtles were sunning themselves on logs, rocks, or mounds of vegetation.

Loon divingLoon divingThe shoreline was a medley of green. The picture shows aspen trees with their yellowish green half-grown leaves of spring. In the left foreground are cedars, in the right foreground a young white pine. In the left background are big white pines, in the right background are big red pines.

Ruby-throated hummingbirdRuby-throated hummingbirdBack at the WRI Cabin, a female hummingbird has joined the male whose gorget was particularly brilliant on this blue sky day.

I know the name gorget (gor’jit) is derived from the gorget used in military armor to protect the throat, but I like to think that the originator also noticed that these male throat feathers are gorgeous.

A visit from Lucy made the day complete.

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center