Monday, June 02, 2008

Compass Set for North

We packed the van and hit the road Friday evening. It was about a three hour drive to my brother Phil's lake home north of Brainerd. He and his wife Mary are retired and live in a beautiful home that they bought as a cabin years ago. It's gone through a few metamorphosis since then and it's now a lovely home that they opened to us. Another retired brother Charlie and his wife Michele were there for the weekend as well. It had been such a long time since we'd had a happy get-together, too many sad occasions this last year. This weekend was so good for me. It was good for us all, I think. We played card and dice games, watched movies, looked through old photographs and retold family stories. Lots of laughter and for me, a just a few tears. We talked lots about Dad and Mom and Phyllis. They would have loved the weekend. I could feel them smile.
I did get to do some birding too. We took two pontoon boat rides and I got a few nice pictures of the loons on the lake. I actually took 64 loon pictures to get maybe four that were keepers. I like the water droplets on this loon's head. If you look carefully you can see his red eye. Listening to the loons at night is a Minnesota experience that we like to think you will not find any where else.

I spied three loon nests on the lake. Trust me that we stayed a respectful distance away.

Water temps were in the high fifties but that didn't stop Molly and John from dipping in for some fun.

We had a fabulous view of a huge thunderstorm coming across the lake. You can see the line of wind rippling the calm water as it moved toward us. No damage at their place but the same weather system brought good sized hail to New Hope. Sadly, my new-to-me, used car got some dings. Ah well, life is short. I'm not going to be bothered by hail dents.

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19 comments:

Linda in Erie said...

Wonderful pictures! I'm so glad you had a chance to really get out and relax and laugh. I love the sound of the Loon and can't wait to hear some. They are beautiful birds as well. I remember as a kid our car had "hail dents."

Susan Gets Native said...

I wanna see a loon. Just one.
Sorry your car got banged up. Stupid hail.

ivars krafts said...

Great shots of the loon, Lynne -- also of the weather across the lake. I'm sorry your car had to suffer -- if it's not hail, it's parking lot dings -- frustrating! -- but, I love your great attitude.

Jayne said...

Beautiful loon Lynne. Brave kids! Glad you all had some good family time together. :c)

Deb said...

That sounds like the perfect Minnesota "up north" weekend, complete with loon serenades! Glad you had a good time with your family. And, you're right--what's a few hail dents in the big scheme of things?

Eve said...

Hi Lynne!
I'm so glad you had such a wonderful visit with your family. It's good to laugh...and cry...in remembering your loved ones.

I love the tree frog, they are singing away here calling to each other across the yard! The pictures are beautiful and yes, those are some very tough kids!

Sorry to hear about the car!

NCmountainwoman said...

The loons are fascinating. Your pictures make us feel as if we were there.

BTW, check with your car insurance about the hail dings.

scienceguy288 said...

Se la vie huh? I love loons, they are such magestic birds. Glad you had a nice weekend.

dguzman said...

Love that froggie! and the other pics too.

For your dings: When it gets really really hot this summer--upper 90s and above (I think it gets that hot there, right?)--go outside and put an ice cube on a ding. It should pop right out. It's a slow process, and it doesn't always work, but it's free!

Marsha said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. How great! I just love the loon shots and yes, I love the MN experience of hearing them out on the lakes. The storm coming across the lake is a wonderful shot too...sorry about your car.

possumlady said...

Great loon shots! So glad you had a fun time with your family. I remember watching On Golden Pond in the theater when I still lived in Minnesota and I was shocked, SHOCKED to find out that it wasn't filmed in Minnesota!

Larry said...

Great photos! You've got me fired up for my vacation up in northern New Hampshire.-Better that your car got pelted with hail than you.

mon@rch said...

Loons, Tree Frogs . . . how stunning of a vacation you are having! Photos are perfect!

Bird Girl said...

Sound like a wonderful time! I love Loons and especially enjoy seeing them with their babies on their backs. Love your shot with the water droplets. And the image of the lake is just so nice and peaceful!

Mary said...

Hail dents are nothing in comparison to life, Linne. Right?

Your photos are fabulous! That storm approaching is my favorite. Mother Nature is so gorgeous.

I feel your joy to be away with family.

Hugs,
Mary

KGMom said...

Looks like just the place to slip away to!

Born Again Bird Watcher said...

Great loon photos!

gardenpath said...

Looks like a wonderful weekend trip. And your kids are smiling!
We love to listen to the loons here in Maine, too. I miss spending time up in the great north woods. We live down at the bottom of the state now.

RuthieJ said...

Sounds like you had a good weekend Lynne. Glad you were safe from severe weather.

Even though you couldn't get to North Dakota, if it's any consolation, I saw NOT A SINGLE LOON during my trip, so I'm jealous of your fabulous pictures.