The Hinterland Just Down the Road

I don’t remember when I first heard a common loon in person. I didn’t spend much time on Canadian lakes until I was in my fifties. Of course, I’m sure I heard it in one of those wildlife moments that used to be on TV.

Their call is both extraordinary and, once heard, unmistakeable.

Black, white, black on white.
A mournful wail fills the dusk;
Day softens to night.

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10 Responses to The Hinterland Just Down the Road

  1. Tom Watson says:

    Gotta love those loons.
    One interesting thing about them is that they mate for life.

  2. Jim Taylor says:

    The bird was a good choice for our “loonie” coin; its haunting cry is far more evocative of boreal lakes than, say, the chomping sounds of beaver teeth.

    And in response to Tom, I gather that many birds are strictly monogamous — far more faithfully so than many of us humans.

    Jim T

  3. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – it is a good thing that the dies for the new $1 coin got lost in transit between the mint in Ottawa and the manufacturing mint in Winnipeg. Otherwise, the new $1 coin would have the same obverse image as the old $1 silver dollar, i.e. two voyageurs in a canoe – and what would we have called the new coin then?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – Loonies, maybe, but it might not have gone over well. I wanted our two-dollar coin to be a doubloon, but wasn’t able to sell that idea to the social media influencers.

      • John Whitman says:

        Isabel – maybe cartoons seen in childhood have more impact on social influencers than do tales of the Spanish Main and Long John Silver.

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          John – 🙂 Yes, and maybe I don’t actually know any social influencers. That makes it harder to win their hearts and minds.

  4. The F.R. Crawley film *The Loon’s Necklace* (1948) made a huge impression on me as a child. I think it imbued all loons with a mythic quality that deserves respect.

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