Thursday, May 26th, 2011
Common Loon – Spirit of the Northern Lakes


It happened during my first visit to Canada in the 80’s. Through the misty sunrise on a lake in northern Alberta echoed a sound that stirred profound emotions in me: the haunting call of the Common Loon. Ever since that morning, I had become attached to this beautiful bird who symbolizes the wildness of the north—wildness that many of us, trapped in an ever-more-urbanized society, long for from the depths of our souls. A couple of days ago I was fortunate enough to photograph the Common Loon up close, not on a remote lake, but at Jewel Lake in Anchorage. I tagged along with Greta’s brother Hugh to visit a friend of his who lives along the lake. It’s a gorgeous little body of water surrounded by houses and many people fish, boat, and swim in it. I didn’t care about all the bustling activity, because when I heard its eerie call echo across the water, it transported me back to the remote lake in northern Alberta where I had heard its unearthly yet beautiful call for the first time.


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