Monday, August 9, 2010

Seasonal Collector's Print #25 ~ My Loon Family

"With hope and some anxiety, I imagine our loons encountering the oil spill in the Gulf this fall when they migrate to their wintering grounds.   Immature loons will stay there a couple years before coming back to Minnesota.  But loons are resilient and tough birds. In fact, of all the birds, they are our oldest, having looked similar to these 70 million years ago when they swam amongst the last dinosaurs.   It is conceivable that these same loons have been nesting in my back yard as long as I have been here in the north woods - 30 years.  In that time, we have had a surprisingly low rate of success of loon babies reaching maturity because of gulls and ravens preying on the eggs.  Unfortunately, the loons start nesting around fishing opener in this part of the north woods. The fishermen are usually unaware of the nest as they focus on their fishing.  I’ve seen loons get scared off their nest for several hours. Gulls and ravens watch for this, and prey upon the eggs while the loon is gone. 

I've become emotionally attached to these creatures, and every time I walk back to my lake I hold my breath in hopes that they have survived since I last saw them.  Most years the nesting is in vain. Unfortunately, one of the baby loons in this photograph has now disappeared, possibly from a bald eagle.  A few years ago I watched a bald eagle take a young loon, much to the despair of the adults.    We hope to see these amazing creatures back in the years to come. With their incredible ability to survive 70 million years, let’s hope they are able to outlive modern man’s clumsy foibles.”

The Jim Brandenburg Collectors Series features four seasonal prints a year. Each season, we will feature a new image that has never been printed, and will be available only at the Brandenburg Gallery. The featured image will be a signed and titled, 12"x8" Giclee Fine Art Print on 100% cotton paper at a special price of $75 or framed for $230. Previous seasonal images can be purchased at any time for $125 or framed for $280.  To view other prints in the Collector's Series, please visit our website and click on Seasonal Collector's Series.

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